ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Letters

Wednesday, December 28, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

hard to breathe

sent in by MJ

I am new to this site. I posted a testimony. It's in the recent articles.

Sometimes just thinking about what has happened in the past 2 years makes it very hard to breathe. I went for so long with Christianity programmed into me that it's really hard. Do I still believe in God? I can't answer that. Sometimes I don't think I do. Sometimes I think He's there. I can't decide.

I was at a bar recently speaking w/ someone. They asked me what I believe in. (why is it that we are all programmed to have to have something to believe in?) I told them. Well, I do believe God exists. They asked if I thought that all would go to heaven. I replied no. They asked if I thought that I would go to heaven. I said with the way I am living, I would go to hell.

Does that scare me? Yes, I would go to hell.

I am so confused right now. I am sure many of you have gone through this. But it's hard. I know that we all have to find something to believe in; even if it's not to believe in something. I know there is no easy answer, there's no easy fix. I made this huge lifestyle change (not living for god) and it hasn't gotten any easier. Christianity broke my heart.

It's painful to see old friends from church and they don't support my decisions. I don't have a huge support system saying that it's okay to make this change.

HELP.

It's hard to breathe.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I wonder if many got the real gospel

Hello,

just typing in to say that I found this site.

I think it is very sad, many of the experiences people have had. Yet, after reading testimonies, I wonder if many got the real gospel...the real good news...or just got a bunch of man-made tradition and hypocrisy, which is quite easy to reject. And which, I cannot blame them for rejecting.

Email:jrprentice11@yahoo.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Christmas "battle" is really becoming annoying

sent in by Sarah

Ironically, I feel like the fundamental Christians are trying to take away Christmas/Holiday/Hannaukah (whatever you prefer to celebrate during this time of year) for the rest of us.

Anyone who studies the history of "Christmas" for even five minutes will learn that there are so many roots of the December celebration which go way beyond the birth of Christ (by the way, the actual day of his birth is still an unknown).

For example, have you ever heard of "Saturnalia"? It was a Roman holiday in the middle of December during which the Romans would celebrate by exchanging presents...etc, and it's similar to how Christmas is celebrated today in many ways. This is just one of a number of holidays that contributed to today's version of Christmas, other than the birth of Jesus.

http://www.holidays.net/christmas/story.htm

Take from the above website:

"The Roman's celebrated their god Saturn. Their festival was called Saturnalia which began the middle of December and ended January 1st. With cries of "Jo Saturnalia!" the celebration would include masquerades in the streets, big festive meals, visiting friends, and the exchange of good-luck gifts called Strenae (lucky fruits). The Romans decked their halls with garlands of laurel and green trees lit with candles."

While I haven't extensively studied this topic, I have read similar descriptions of Saturnalia from other sources, for those of you concerned for the accuracy of information.

My purpose for Christmas is to be with family, eat good food, and to reflect on all the postives of life...but not to celebrate the Christian religion. If all the fundamentalists here in the US prefer society to not wish one another "Happy Holidays", then perhaps we should take Christianity out of it altogether and completely turn it into a non-religious holiday. I think that they're shooting themselves in the foot by arrogantly pushing their agendas on everyone else during the holidays. So in that case, Happy Saturnalia!

Friday, December 09, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Looking for volunteers

To whom it may concern,

My name is Simon, I'm researching a documentary film for Touch Productions, based in Bath, UK. We're trying to find stories about families that have been divided or broken due to religious conflict within the home. This might involve a split family, who haven't seen a daughter for ten years, or maybe a devout couple where one has a
dramatic change of faith.

I was hoping that you might be able to help us with our research by answering a few questions. Maybe you or someone you know has been affected in this way or possibly you know of someone who might be able to help us further.

The idea is still in the early stages of development, but we're hoping to have it ready to pitch to channel commissioners by early next week. Any information you might be able to provide us with would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time and kind regards,

Simon Ball
simon@touchproductions.co.uk
www.touchproductions.co.uk

Sunday, November 20, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

you won't be able to say, "Gosh, I didn't know....."

Dear Dave,

Your decision to become an anti-christ drove you to create a website so
that you could take as many people to hell with you as possible....Am I
right?

Whatever you do, just remember this:

(1) The Bible tells us that, in the end times, there would be many
false prophets spewing forth lies about God and the Bible. You fit that
bill.

(2) The Bible tells us that, in the end times, many would be beheaded
for their belief in Jesus. "Beheaded" - not "shot", "drowned", or
"choked to death". Beheaded. The only people in the universe who still
behead are the Muslims - and you'd have to be blind, deaf and dumb to not
see that they have already begun to behead and torture the "infidels",
and are slowly taking over the planet!

(3) The anti-christ (who should be showing his face anytime now,
because the time is ripe) will be making a seven-year peace treaty with
Israel. When that happens, I would urge you to rethink your position about
God, because it won't be long before His return. There WILL be a
Judgment Day, and those who preached AGAINST God will suffer the
consequences throughout eternity.

And since you supposedly used to be a "Christian", you won't be able to
say, "Gosh, I didn't know....."

Carmen @ The Refiner's Fire
http://www.therefinersfire.org/

Wednesday, October 26, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I was very wrong

I must say. I thought as I came to this site (some how I got here looking for the matrix theme...) that I would just find a large amount of disgruntled morons disrespecting a religion.

I was very wrong.

As I read on I find that all of you seem to be average people with good sound ideas. I am a Catholic by definition and I would send that ten dollars in if I had a PayPal account. I obviously do not, but I must say otherwise I support your site.

While it goes against what I believe, you do show good support for your ideals and you stand by them when others challenge you, and I find that a rare as well as noble trait. I find it funny how people like you ex-Christians, atheists, and other no-god etc. groups stand by your ideas more than those who support a god.

Well, in conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this and good luck with the site.

joseph c

Monday, October 24, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

God, Democracy and Evolution

Hello,

I have recently launched a website called God, Democracy and Evolution that contains some of the best explanations of religious issues on the Internet.

For example, my website has the most readable step by step explanation of human evolution, the most probable histories of Israel and Christianity, and much more, all written from a purely rational agnostic position, but intended to be a sympathetic resource for disillusioned Christians.

The website is also a promotional site for a book that I have written that contains all of the issues that were too controversial for the website. Issues like religion in politics, sexual morality, and the need for a more militant effort toward religious reform.

My book is damning of the failures and inadequacies of mainstream Christianity, and it presents a more powerful argument against ID than any other evolutionist book or website is currently offering.

I wonder what the chances are of having an article about my website or a review of my book appearing on unchristian.net? Or perhaps just a small link?

My website is http://www.principlesofexistence.net

Kind regards,

Robert Stewart

Saturday, October 15, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

no more atheists

How dare you feeble minded people mock the One true God who made you.How can you turn your back on the truth.

You think you know everything when you are in fact fools like the bible say.I pity you for when judgment day comes you will be crying for you stupidity.If you people have everything figured out please explain to me how the world could come to exist without God?

All your foolishness and pure blindness to the truth are caused by Satan and your earthly logic cannot possibly explain God.

please repent and accept Jesus before it is too late!!

claire

Tuesday, September 27, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Intelligent Design

From a friend of Ex-C ~

Hi everybody,

The subject of Intelligent Design has come up a lot, so I thought I'd share this with you. I recently got into an argument, or debate with a Christian apologist called Kyle Butt. What happened was this: I read this debate:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/frank_zindler/morris-zindler.html

which was between Zindler (an atheist) and Morris (a creationist) about whether or not Noah's Flood and Ark were real.

Then I read this article, written by Kyle Butt:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1855

in which Mr. Butt took a few lines out of the debate and twisted them around to blame atheists for being arrogant. Butt said Zindler said he could make a better Universe than God, and that this was arrogance typical of these unholy atheists. Shock horror! What Zindler actually said was, "If I were God I could have done better". I wrote to point this out, and we started debating it. He started off by sending me the following three articles designed to prove the existence of God:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/269

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2518

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/271

Their basic arguments are:

(First one) God is the only possible explanation for the existence of the Universe

(Second one) The Universe shows evidence of design (because it's so beautiful and complicated and all works together so well), therefore it must have been designed by an entity which we could call God.

(Third one) Theism is the only satisfactory ethical justification for the meaning of life (proceeds to list alternatives and debunk them).

My idea is to poke holes in the logic in all of these. It's the first time I've been in a debate, but if that's the calibre of the material offered (check the articles and I'm sure you'll see what I mean) it shouldn't be too difficult. Some of the points I'm thinking of making are:

* The first article: Just because we don't know where the Universe comes from, does that follow that it was God who made it? And, by the way, if it was designed (how, and from what, and by what method?) how do you know the designer is still alive?

* The second article: The universe is like it is because it's evolved to be that way. Don't go trying to impress us with a lot of nonsense about how fortunate it is that the Earth is just the right distance from the sun to support life. It could have turned out otherwise and, if you look at the some of the trillions of other planets in the Universe, you can see that it did.

* The second article: It also doesn't impress us when you say things like, "Gosh, isn't it amazing that the earth's atmosphere is just right for us to breathe? Surely that CAN'T be a coincidence!" Look, if the earth's atmosphere had been methane then we would have evolved to breathe methane. Or not at all (see argument above)

* The third article: Look, criticise moral and ethical systems all you want. It still doesn't prove God has to exist just because you want him to!

In addition, in response to the articles in general:

* How exactly do you make the leap from a deity to the God of the Bible?

* Why bother looking for evidence of God's existence like Sherlock Holmes examining footprints and match ends? If God IS an all-powerful, all-knowing deity who exists, why not just ask him to part a sea or two for us? (What do you mean it doesn't work that way? Have things changed since the Bible was written?)

* And on that subject: How come God doesn't do miracles any more? Or, to put it another way - how come as the number of scientists has gone up, miracle workers have gone down?

After six months spent reading through exchristian.net, Farrel Till's “The Skeptical Review” and other similar websites, I feel sure I'll have no trouble answering the nonsense in these articles. Yes, I know it sounds arrogant, but really! If you read through them, you'll see that a lot of the time they're preaching to the choir. And a lot of the time they're talking nonsense. For example (from the conclusion of the first article):

"Every material effect must have an adequate antecedent cause. The Universe is here; intelligent life is here; morality is here; love is here. What is their adequate antecedent cause? Since the effect never can precede, or be greater than the cause, it stands to reason that the cause of life must be a living Intelligence that Itself is both moral and loving. When the Bible records, "In the beginning, God..." it makes known to us just such a First Cause."

To be honest, that one sounds more like faith and wishful thinking than logic.

Thanks for reading through all that. If anybody wants to look through the articles and has any ideas about them, feel free to post them.

Monday, September 26, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

No such a thing as ex christian

Hi there, dear ex christians, I am glad I read my bible and I remember parts of it, as a fanatic ;) Anyhow I was reading your testimony, and you sound like a haters. I used to be worldly like you, but I would never return to the lifestyle I used to live.

Anyhow I just wanted to you to consider my opinion about being an ex christian*(which means christ like) based on the bible, 1 John 2:19 says:
"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."

So you think you were ex-christian, this is not true my friend, I think you only had an immaginary friend, and as you grew up , you did not feel like doing childish stuff. Anyhow I hope you enjoy your work, and website, I just want to warn you that believe it or not, a day of judgement will come, and your works might not stand the fire.

Chris
Male
Fort McMurray
AB
Canada
21
United Pentecostal Church - Oneness movement
Saint of God
God choose me
Email: sinhron@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Just wanted to say hello

I know this is a site for exchristians but I'm an exmuslim and I have to say I have enjoyed reading the posts here over the last few days. There are some exmuslim sites but none are as good as this.

I come from a moderate Muslim family and was born and raised here in America. I was very religious growing up, praying five times a day and fasting at Ramadan. I was raised in a tolerant household and had gay, Jewish and female friends. My parents taught me to always respect others. My mother and sister didn't cover up.

When I was 15 I decided to read the Koran and the Hadiths (the sayings attributed to Mohammed). Like many of you who read the Bible and were disgusted, I too was shocked by some of what I read. The Koran had some bad stuff but the Hadiths were the worst. There was also a lot of contradiction. For example, Mohammed condoned wife beating and also condemned wife beating.

I loved and respected Mohammed and Islam when I was growing up. I didn't know what to think. I either had to justify and explain away the bad stuff (which is what good Muslims do) or accept it (and become an a$$hole which is the only way to describe observant Muslims). I don't know if Mohammed was a bad man or if he was a good man who had false sayings attributed to him after his death. But really it doesn't matter. Even if he didn't say bad things (such as the angels will curse a woman if she refuses sex to her husband) many people believe he did, therefore they can justify doing bad things believing they have God's and the Prophet's approval.

I just couldn't accept Islam anymore. I did read the Bible and considered Christianity but I also thought the Bible was shocking and the whole virgin birth and trinity thing is just too absurd to believe. And there are so many Christian denominations. What's with that? Now I believe in God and that's it. I don't believe in prophets, saviors and holy books.

My parents are very upset but they still accept me. My mother cried for days after I told her I no longer considered myself Muslim. They blame Al Qaeda for my loss of faith, because they have given Islam such a bad name. I haven't told them I have doctrinal problems. I let them believe what makes them feel better.

I have told my younger sister my views and she no longer believes either but she's afraid to tell my parents because she knows it will completely break their hearts. I'm away at college, so it's easier for me. She's 17 and still at home.

I know what all you have gone through. First the guilt and confusion. Then fear of how family and friends will react and of course rejection from some. Then the anger kicks in because you realise you devoted a lot of time to something that is nonsense. You are angry at yourself for ever believing in it.

Good luck to all of you and for new exchristians, stay strong. It's hard at first but worth it when you finally become free from religious faith.

Faruk

Thursday, September 08, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

RACISM AND LAMPOONING THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE KATRINA ON PASTORS.COM

Forgive me for the loooong letter but it is important. Would someone from your group PLEASE post something about this. My editing is terrible and you probably need to look at the site for yourself but something needs to be said on your site about the horrible things the religious right is saying about victims of Katrina.

I think America needs to know that on Rick Warren's pastors.com website that there are pastors there making JOKES about the New Orleans victims and some of the worst jokes are coming from the website moderators!

Rick Warren is the Right Wing Minister that has the best seller "The Purpose Driven Life" and is appearing all over the place and was just on tv.

The website is a forum to introduce pastors to HIS products and get them to buy them. He has a huge forum that has many pastors on there and the forum is run by his own people. The jokes are demeaning to blacks and the poor and I even contacted Josh Warren (Rick Warren's son?) and was given the cold shoulder. The coarse jokes against blacks, gays, liberals and other minorities continues to go on every day and the WARRENS KNOW IT.

The forum was open to the public for years but recently went to being one that you need to sign up for. All you need is a user ID and you are in. The WORST posts are in the CURRENT EVENTS section.

In the topic: What Would You Do With New Orleans?

A question about what you would do with New Orleans now,
THE MODERATOR of the site posted,

"Fishing should be good there with all the submerged structures."

He was making fun of the houses that had been destroyed!

One Pastor quickly responded,

"And all the sewage and toxic chemicals. The fish might grow bigger."

Other pastors poked fun as well.

One said, Give it back to the French.

One said, use it as a paintball park!

Another Pastor said to, Burn it all, and then said it was his yankee talk coming out!

Still another Pastor responded,

"Evacuate it, leave it as is for the looters to stay wallowing in their mud; they seem to be having fun.
Build elsewhere for the decent folks and don't waste more tax $ on "land Titanic 2".


3) They are DEFENDING the use of the word REFUGEE to describe victims of the hurricane on the forum:

In the topic:

"Use of Word 'Refugee' Stirs Race Debate in hurricane aftermath"

2)In the forum topic: NEW ORLEANS FLASHBACK: OFFICALS WARNED RESIDENTS 'YOU'LL BE ON YOUR OWN'

One Pastor wrote in response about posting warnings:

"You know, they should have printed this at the bottom of one of those go cups you get at the bars on Bourbon Street. Then someone might have read it."


3) In the topic: "Sean Penn at it again. How Stupid can one man be":

They all lampooned Sean Penn and one of the regulars refered to him as a "freak."

4) In the topic: New Orleans City Council President: "Maybe God's Going To Cleanse Us"


One regular posted:

"They want God now, but haven't wanted Him (at least in the true biblical sense) for many, many decades"

5)WORST OF ALL: Blatant racism and class defamation going on in this one by THE website moderator.

In the topic he started:

TOPIC: "These are my kind of men in New Orleans"

He gloats over those who are in their houses and plan to shoot people and responds:

"I wonder how we can ship those guys some more gas and ammo?" This is THE HEAD MODERATOR SAYING THIS!

And when someone comments about his statement he replies:

"I thought about the women and children thing, too. From the description in the article, it seems to be a nicer neighborhood, so they probably had enough sense to get their families out."

And then he later adds:

" No, that's just a fact. There wasn't anyone wearing polo shirts looting and raping."

When I tried to counter his shocking and unbelievable comment the MODERATOR replied

"It's not classism. It's not being mean, either. It's a reality. Politically incorrect, yet a reality. What do you reckon the percentages were "polo shirt" owning looters vs. non? If you don't admit the problem, you're not gonna be very helpful in fixing it."

You can find the above comments in the topic:

Let the Chastening begin.


In the topic:

Martial Law Declared in New Orleans

THE MODERATOR posted

"They should declare Martial Law at least once a year anyhow - usually in the lead up to Easter Sunday."


Rick Warren has taken the Limelight as usual and has been on Larry King and Fox recently talking about the hurricane. The truth needs to get out what HIS OWN WEBSITE is saying!! He has moderators who have been warned about this before who simply ban those who disagree with them. Rick Warren's own family oversees the forum.

I want you to get the word out about this. There are people there who are dying slowly and there are right wing Pastors and leaders in Rick Warrens Purpose Driven Life organization who see it as an opportunity to rake in money, steal the limelight and make racist and class related jokes about those suffering. If we are going to rebuke Mrs. Bush over ONE saying, then Rick Warren needs to be rebuked for what are YEARS worth of crude and racist comments on HIS site.

Sorry for the long email.


Sincerely,
JM

Saturday, September 03, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

This was "God's Judgment" on New Orleans

With the recent tragedy of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and other parts of the U.S. I can just imagine how so many Fundies are saying right now that this was "God's Judgment" on New Orleans for all of its debauchery, hedonistic parties, breast exposing, and voodoo practicing. Sure they might not come right out and say it in front of non-believers, but they're saying it. They're programmed to think this way, so of course they are saying it and Amening it to themselves.

Now as an ex-christian I look upon such disasters from a totally different perspective. Such a heart-wrenching event as this does not happen because of any evil in New Orleans, but rather to bring love and compassion out of all and to bring that compassion to them practically. Instead of sitting back in some pew or padded chair and criticizing New Orleans of evil, pronouncing judgment, shouting Amen and then go out to a buffet and stuff ones face, everyone should be moved in love for these poor people to face such a travesty. Love and not judgment, compassion and not condemnation, positivity and not negativity should be everyone's heart for all the victims of Katrina.

Its funny, now, as an ex-christian, even though I no longer believe in Jesus Christ, I feel more like what a Christian ought to be than I ever was as a Christian. Christians are supposed to be the kindest, the most loving, the most compassionate, the most giving of any people in the world, but as we all know from experience it is mainly the opposite. Cruel, fearful, condemning, judgmental, intolerant, dogmatic and self-righteous are the "fruits" of most Christians in their hearts. Sure they are masters of making it seem like they "care" for such victims of Katrina and the Tsunami and praying for their "salvation" but in reality they are just as destitute and poor inside as the victims are in their outward circumstances. This is one of the reasons why I could no longer be a Christian. It made me, along with mostly all other Christians that I've ever known, into a cold, critical, judgmental, self-righteously negative person. I was a better "Christian" before I ever became a Christian if you know what I mean.

As ex-christians I know that we can be looked upon as critical and unloving from the viewpoint of those still in the vices of mind control Christianity, but exposing the truth and the "fruits" of Christianity is not being "bitter" or "damaged" as many fundies have called us. Regaining our common sense, our intuition, and our minds and being truthful about it is not being bitter or "hurt". We can show more love and compassion now than mostly any fundie ever can. Let's do what we can for the victims of Katrina and show the compassion that the religious can never show.

John Blatt
psychicevolution at yahoo dot com

Friday, September 02, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

A Question

Is there any ex-Chrisitan out there who is willing to conversate without the gobful of swearing that I have read on almost every posting on this site?

If so please could you, (without taking offense please) answer my question as to why is there so much hatred and adversity against Chrisitans/the Chrisitan faith?

Jasmin

You're an idiot!

Just took the opportunity to read your post:

Tim Simmons, one of the regular posters to this site, and the author of The Gospel Story Quiz and The Christian Origins Test, has created another scathing exploration of the interesting, irreconcilable, inconsistencies inherent in the so called infallible, inerrant Word of God!

(That's aie, yai, yai, yai, yai, yai, for those who speak in tongues.)

Thanks Tim!

(Click here to find out what God would do!)

Then come back here to make comments.


Comments? OK. You're an idiot. I don't care what you claim to have "discovered" in this life and now need to spread as "truth". Yours is meaningless opinion on the issues of life. You have nothing to offer humanity. When speaking to the Katrina tragedy, one of your sheep says "Our thoughts are with you." Now you tell me, what good is that, that we "think" about someone in the midst of disaster?

Now go on in your ridicule of prayer, idiot, because the opinions of idiots are irrelevant anyway.

Don

Tuesday, August 23, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Why it kills me that you have lost site of the fact that Christ loves you

It breaks my heart to see that there is a website for people who have fallen away from Christ. Why is it that you have fallen away? Is it because a lot of terrible stuff has happened in your life and you? Is it because church is dull and monatamous?

I don't know why, but I would like to know. I just don't understand how you can renounce your faith. The God of the universe sent His only Son to die the most painful death EVER for your and my sins. That is love beyond recognition.

If you are saying, "If God really loves me then why did (fill in the blank) happen?" I honestly don't always know. What i do know is this that God had a purpose for it to happen in your life and He wants you to draw close to Him in your pain and mourning. If you email me i can maybe help you understand why or maybe just listen to what you have to say.

I dont claim to be a prophet or a scholar. I am just a man that loves Christ and understands His love for me.

David Valentine
email: davidloveschrist@yahoo.com

Friday, August 19, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I’m undertaking a research project

Dear Web Administrator,

I am a researcher in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and
Classics at the University of Queensland, Australia. I’m undertaking a
research project into the comparative socio-cognitive causes of apostasy
(deconversion) from Muslim and Christian fundamentalisms.

The data for the project is being collected through interviews,
narrative collections and an online survey. Naturally, your website is
an important space for people who have left fundamentalist orientations.

I was hoping you would be willing to provide a link to the project
survey on your web site or notify the Ex-tian mailing list. I
understand the sensitivities of this field of study and would be more
than happy to provide any information that might help you to make a
decision. Obviously, you might like to view the survey first. It is
located online at the URL: http://uqconnect.net/~zzaof . All survey
participants remain anonymous.

At the conclusion of the project, participants would be invited to
comment on its results and the theories generated from their responses.
It is anticipated that the completed project would be published and
presented in relevant journals.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Raoul Adam

Principal Researcher
Apostasy & Fundamentalism Project
School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics
University of Queensland.
Email: aof at uqconnect dot net

Sunday, August 07, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

What's with the tongue?

I am definately an EX Christian but I do have a burning question. It is about the speaking in tongues thing.

My church preached we were to: (1) Become born again (2) be baptised (in water) and then (3) be baptised in the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues. Now, I DID (1) and (2) back in the day but (3) never happened. I don't know whether if it HAD, I would still have left. Probably. But, is there anyone here who DID speak in tongues and yet is now an ex Christian, ie. it DID happen, but you still left?

And also, is the tonguified thing for real? Or is it like the Emperor's New Clothes, there's nothing there but in some way people act like it is? (I used to think it was gross, by the way, how they'd say "..the Holy Spirit will not force himself on you" it sounded SO SEXUAL! I DID believe in it and that I was ready and TRIED to be good but it DIDN'T happen people. Your views on using tongue PLEASE?! Thanks!

Saturday, August 06, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

It is impossible to de-convert!

I was 12 when I became a Christian and it is impossible to leave Christianity.

I am Southern Baptist. I becamse a Christian because the conviction of the Holy Spirit made me realize that without Christ I would spend eternity in hell.

It is impossible to de-convert!

I really fell sorry for you guys! The Apostle Paul said, If they went out from us that it was because they were never really a part of us. If they were, they would not have gone out from us.

Jesus talked about the tares among the wheat and we know that to be true even within the churches. I think the problem is that most of you were never Christians to start with. You thought you were because you did this or that or whatever. Jesus said that "You must be born again."

Then scripture tells us that when you are born again the Holy Spirit comes to reside in you and he is the one who changes your life as you listen and obey Him as He leads you. Sounds like you guys have missed the boat. May God have mercy on you and give you another opportunity before it is too late.

Ernie Sluder
Myrtle Beach SC USA
ecsluder@yahoo.com

You have a stupid website

I was saved when I was three

You have a stupid website. If you have a problem with Christians keep them to youself. The story of Jesus wherever it came from has inspired many people to devote their lives to good, and even if it has caused trouble, your website is very abrasive and a real ex-christian has no need for it. stop imposing your stupid self-important superior beliefs on everyone else.

Richard
Dublin Ireland

Thursday, August 04, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

This Site is Disgusting!

Dear Webmaster,

This site is disgusting, most of the articles you post, trying to show that Christianity is a fable, are grose misrepresentations of the will of God, where Christians have got it fatally wrong. I pray that God will convict your heart, I know he has already forgiven you of this. Abondoning God is one thing, but incouraging it for other people is not on.

I pray that this site has not contributed in sending a soul to hell. You have obviously never known God, because if you had, this site would never had been born. What you encountered was religion and Im sorry that you have turned your back on the most important thing in existance.

May God bless you, and may you find him, hes waiting for you to return and get to know him properly. People, God loves every one of you, dont let Satan take him away from you, hes the best thing that will ever happen to you. Truth cannot be destroyed, how ever hard you try. The truth is God, and will continue to be for eternity, and nothing that anybody says or does can change that. The journey continues, I grieve that you arnt part of it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I will be praying that Satan will leave you

Dear WebMaster,

I really and truly hope that u publish my testimony i sent, u guaranteed it....

It was just a testimony about how much God has done for me in my life and what he is doing.

I would like to know how someone could come up with something so corruptive, a site that encouages non-christians, Satan has really worked in your heart my friend I will be praying for you that maybe one day this will be called Christian.net and maybe it will be the best christian website made, giving glory and honor to our Lord and God.

all i see is a one sided argument on the subject of being an ex-christian I see an encouragement about becoming an ex-christian and being one, and reasons to become one... And I say...good job...satan...for corrupting many many minds and for corrupting someone enough to create this sickening website. I will pray for you, and I will pray for you all, every one that who has typed hateful words to our GOD to our LORD and Savior and to our King of Kings.

I will pray for God to have mercy on all of you and that someway he will bring you back to the light. I have just recently been saved this past Saturday (7-23-2005) I lived for years (since i was nine) thinking that i was truly saved untill this past week I went to a Christian camp in Florida and it opened up my eyes to the truth about myself, that i wasn't truly saved

I will be praying that Satan will leave you alone and let the word of God come into your heart and influence your life.

P.S. There is no such thing as an Exchristian because if u really and trully had christianity in the first place you would have never "given" it up. In fact you wouldn't want to give it up because it puts so much joy and happiness and just a wonderful sensation in your life, sure bad things will happen but it is part of God's plan for your life to use it for something or somehow.

Sincerly In God's Name, William
FarmboyWill296@yahoo.com

Sunday, July 17, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

HOW CAN PEOPLE DEFEND A BOOK THEY'VE NEVER READ?

by Mitch

Since leaving Christianity about 12 years ago it has blown my mind how many so called believers know little 2 nothing about the book which is supposed 2 be the "blueprint" of their faith.

I recently had a discussion with a woman who i was about 2 date when the question came up about whether or not i believed in God. I told her i was neutral on a higher power but definitely not the one in the bible or anything else in it. She became shocked and started calling me a heathen. Lol, the whole thing got crazy as i told her exactly why i didn't believe it and named specific stories, acts by God, contradictions, and flaws. She didn't know what the hell i was talking about. How pathetic is that?

So many people like her I've met who constantly spout on and on about "the word of God" and have never even read what it says. Sure they know all the big stories like Jesus, Moses, Noah, the ones they make movies about. But when i bring up Gideon's sheepskin, Elisha's floating hammer head, bears eating children, or Saul's séance they haven't a clue. It's almost laughable when i mention stories about a woman eating her own child and they don't believe it. Then when i show it 2 them they start making up excuses 4 it. I find that many of these wanna be Christians are lazy and just prefer 2 have their scripture spoon fed 2 them one verse at a time by their pastors on Sundays.

It's just like some die hard patriot going on and on about how much they support the U.S. Constitution but when asked about one or more particular articles in it they respond with "huh?" I think it's a damn shame when someone who doesn't even believe in that crap knows it inside and out better than the ones who do. Tell me what's wrong with this picture?

I guess they're all just letting the spirit guide them, or God will reveal what they need 2 know in his own time. Whatever typical Christian cliché that covers it. Well I've vented enough thanx WM 4 the vine.....peace!

MITCH
DURRELL924 at YAHOO dot COM

Saturday, July 16, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

What if I am right and you were wrong

Did you know that evolutions's Proofs are rapidly vanishing? The more we learn, the more it points to God the creatior of the universe.

You say you don't in God, but what if there is a God and you have to stand before him some day. What if I am right and you were wrong. What if there is a real hell?

What if I were to burn you house down with you in it, would you try to excape or stand there like an itiot? I am sure you would try to excapt. Hell is real so why do you not want to excape it.

The bible says that we are ever learning, but never come to the knowledge of the truth. Are you so smart you can't see the truth. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

revherb.m@juno.com

Monday, July 11, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I think what you need

Wow. I just read your article on becoming an Ex-Chrisitan. I was really surprised by the ways you categorized them. It sounds to me like, perhaps, you had a really bad experiece w/ people who called themselves Christians, but obviously were not? Christianity is not about hate or exclusiveness. It's not a disease. Christ is not a crutch. True Christians do not believe the devil is a red man w/ horns. Also, those responsible for horrific crimes of hate are not acting in accordance with Christian principles.

I think what you need to understand is just because someone calls themselves a Christian, it does not mean they are. I hope you someday meet a true Christian. You would see that a "true Christian" and a "so-called Christian" are two totally different things. Best regards.

Sunday, July 10, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

My Testimony

I did not read all on your web site. I am not writing this to you to judge you. I am still a christian. I just try my best to live the best I can as a christian. I love all of Gods people. This includes you. I have been severly hurt and crushed by people in the church. I know that I am not perfect, but why do they believe that they can be so religious and hurt others and with their words can totally crush someone.

People in this world are hurting. We as christians should reach out to them not turn away. You may not read this and I am truly sorry for the hurt that someone or lots of others may have hurt you. I truly try.

I know what it is like to be put down told I am no good and no one cared.

I can share a testimony with you that you may not believe and you have a right to your belief. God not people, turned my life around. My daughter was very sick for 19 years. My lord has given her a healing. All I have been praying for all these years he answered. I could not understand why all those yrs. It is in his timing not ours. People in the church can be more cruel than the ones that are not in church.

I just want you to know one thing. There may be one or several of you writing this website but I must tell you one thing. God loves you and so do I. If no one else ever tells you this remember I did and mean it

Take care

God bless

Shirley

IF YOU WANT EMAIL ME.
shirleymgaines@sbcglobal.net

Saturday, July 02, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Jesus Freak

you are a angel of darkness and are making fun of god he will not tolerate it for long

Jesus_Freak
ninja_monkey92@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Thank you for your courage and honesty!!!!!

My inadequate words cannot express the gratitude I have for you and this web site. For the last year I have been struggling with abolishing my old christian ways of thought and it has been very difficult because of the many years I had convinced myself that christianity is true. Old thinking habits die hard and slowly.

I think I understand now what I have so many times read about brainwashing as has happened so many times in political and religious circumstances. It can take time to rid one's mind of the habitual thinking that had enslaved you for so many years.

I have no one to blame but myself for my continued delusion about my religious thoughts. No one forced me to think a certain way. No one pushed me into certain beliefs under the duress of torture and I admitedly believed and thought the ways of christianity because I wanted to.

So I am the only one to blame for my stupidity and short-sightedness and the continued pain it caused me.

I am not into the victim bit. I made my own mistakes in not listening to my conscience for so long !!!

Actually Dave, that is a relief. I would rather know that my idiotic beliefs were my fault rather than forced on me by some fascist like dictator.

It may seem that one would feel better that one's idiotic beliefs and behavior were forced on them, but I find comfort in knowing that I was at fault. Why? Because that means I am the master of my own thinking and I can change that thinking for the better.

I want to thank you with all of my heart for your web site.

It has recently provided an outlet for what I had been thinking for so long but had almost no one to share with.

To find people who have left the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God religion(s) and relate to them is hard and risky so I am so grateful for your web site.

If you admit you are an agnostic or atheist after being a christian, many people will think you are the source of all evil and want to either proselytize you to death with their religious beliefs or kill you. So I had been reluctant to express my true thoughts.

Though I am new to your web site I have submitted a number of comments to letters and other testimonies. The comments of mine were blunt and sometimes curt but I hope that they will help others and be within the limits of what you want for your site.

I have found this site to be liberating and a source of relief for me. When you leave a certain faith in a montheistic god, you feel like the rest of the world hates you and will string you up so it is comforting to know that there are many others who are in the same boat and will accept you and welcome you !!!!!.

Thank you Dave - Mr. Van Allen!!!!!

I thank all of the other men and women who have had the honesty and courage to speak up for sanity and civility.

Thank you for your courage and honesty!!!!!

If you will, I would like to be a regular contributor. I desperately need an outlet and whatever comments I submit will hopefully help others who are trying to leave christianity.

Your Friend,
Chuck

Monday, June 27, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

faith and doubt are not mutually exclusive

I am sorry about your journey away from Christianity, but perhaps it was a journey away from a childish faith that needed to mature. (Many adults have never grown beyond a childish faith.) Remember that faith and doubt are not mutually exclusive and can coexist in the sincere heart and intellect. I hope you will continue to seek and continue read, not only the writings of freethinking atheists, but also those of freely thinking Christians, such as Meister Eckhart (ancient), Karl Rahner (twentieth century, a challenge to read), and Gerald May (twenty-first century).

And pay no attention to "Christians" who curse you for your non-belief. There is no violence in God, who is totally loving and merciful.

R F Hoover, PhD
Faylei Hoover
email: faylei@netscape.net

Sunday, June 26, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Religion is psychological terrorism

sent in by the Happy Humanist

"Believe the way we believe or you are going to spend eternity in a mythical place called Hell, a place where you will be forever tormented." That is the basic mantra of Christianity. To all of you Christians out there: Can you not see the manipulation in such a code? Can you not see that that is a scare tactic, one that persuades you to believe in the rest of the crap that Christianity spoonfeeds its followers (demons, Satan, a god, and angels)? Can you not see that you are on the losing end of the biggest fraudulent scam in the history of mankind? Can you not see that your hard-earned money is being used to perpetuate this scam?

you are a perverse man.

you are a perverse man. you are disrespecting god and he will not tolerate it. not all churches are like the one that hurt you. god is calling you to come back to him

Jesus_Freak
ninja_monkey92@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Dear Dave [Web Master].

I take it you are one in the same. Excuse me if I am in error.

I have read through your intro as to why you are where you are in life, in regards to christianity. I must admit that I found your life story,[ up to the place that you are at now] quite an emotional one. I was amazed at your willingness and earnestness to continue your search for truth, despite so many twists and turns in your life. If I did not know better I would of thought that you would be at a much differant place than you are now.

I can say this for sure "you are an honest man".

I have been a christian for about 20 years, and have seen many wonderful things in Jesus name, as well as strange things in Jesus name. I, like your self have visited differant churchs and so on, but dispite the fruit and nuts that seem to exist in churchs these days I do not and can not say that it would change my choice of who to Serve in this wild and crazy world we live in. I know you know what I mean.

I have to say at this point that I am not sending this to you to change your mind nor to say you are wrong. Far from it. You are intellegent enough to see through any plastic christianity and or rhetoric in my word. In all sincerity I just wanted to let you know that I was very troubled by your experience in you relationship with Jesus. Please, I do not want to seem as though I know something about you that I do not. I would like to know how you did all that you did and not have a sense of relationship an all that you did for the one you thought you did know? [just a play with words for fun sake]. I am sincere in my quesion.

It is very obvious that what ever you do it is with pedal to the metal. I would like to say more but I feel that you may take it the wrong way and think I have other intentions.

I will finish with this. I can understand what you are doing and the direction of your ideology. I am sad to have read your experience in regard to Jesus. If you are truly happy in what you do now. God bless you! I hope you will continue your path of searching for truth.

sincerely
Brian Wolfe
email: foxbwolfe at netzero dot com

Sunday, June 19, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I was interested to read your Anti-Testimony

Unlike you, I was raised in a non-religious household. My father vocally and vociferously despised all organized religion and its attendant hypocrisies, and my mother had no interest whatsoever. I consider I had a very carefree childhood in that respect, no fears of holy ghosts or anything of the sort. I have read a lot of books about Christianity and other religions and have had enough losses in my life to be tempted by the thought of life after death, but education, observation and common sense have always won out and I have never converted to any religion.

I have relatives who are pretty much fundamentalists (Church of Christ) and they are a pretty neurotic bunch on the whole. Luckily their early attempts to influence me (books of Bible stories, etc.) had the same effect on me as Hans Christian Anderson -- even at a very young age I knew I was just reading or listening to another fairytale. It all just seemed so far-fetched and improbable. I love my family, but some or them are a mess -- fear-driven, superstitious, overweight, guilt-ridden and MISERABLE!

It makes me glad, glad, glad that I was raised FREE. And by the way, those who think that atheism leads to immorality are so pathetic. One has nothing to do with the other. In fact, with age and experience I have learned that the more a person mentions his or her Christianity, the more wary I should be.

I felt I should write you because my life experience has been in some since the mirror-image of yours. I'm glad you see the light :) and wish you many happy years of freedom from dogma!

signed, Susan Lavery
susanl2005 at yahoo dot com

I am offended

Hello,

I wish to say that, although you may not be able to control it entirely, I am offended by the occasional, unmonitored anti-Semitism on this site. "Hebrew Demon God" being one of the expressions I see used frequently. Yes, the OT is an outdated, violent book. But the Jewish people have LONG ago stopped practicing any of the more primitive and vengeful things in it; unlike, dare I say, some other religions. And about the OT, as Jewish thought developed, the tales are usually regarded either as a grim moral tales about the fallibility of man, or otherwise tales of Jewish history, or semi-pseudo-history if you like.

Christian or Ex-Christian, or Muslim, must you all accept slandering Jewish people and their tradition as all right? Which tradition, by the way, most Christian and Muslims view through bigoted, slanted, or ignorant eyes, having absolutely NO concept of what Judaism is truly like, and having their information filtered through bigoted, slanted, self-serving interpretation of their religious and political leaders. That, however, is the subject of another rant entirely.

I realize that you cannot monitor everything that goes in this site, and I certainly give you the benefit of the doubt about catching everything said. But it would be nice if ex-Christians would have the decency to respect people who suffered at the hand of extremist Christians much more than they did, and for no plausible reason other than mankind's eternal desire to demonize the “other” and/or find scapegoat. Jewish people have been prosecuted for centuries for a crucifixion of a man who may never have lived at all! It’s deranged fantasy at its best, and it’s both angering and painful.

Oh, right. Judaism is a demonic religion. This is why, during Medieval times, 90% of all women doctors were Jewish. This is why the family has been very important to Judaism, and women were respected much earlier than they were in Christianity and Islam. This is why Hillel, a very famous Jewish teacher living some decades before Jesus was supposedly born, taught the concepts of mercy and forgiveness later integrated into Christianity. This is why Jewish people studied in congregations and sold merchandize while Christianity and Islam were off on virtuous bloody crusades, inquisitions, mass murders and the like.

Again, I know that you cannot monitor everything, and for all I know I am talking to the wrong person. Your consideration, is possible, is appreciated. I would also prefer you not to post this letter, because I can imagine the anti-Semitic drivel that will follow (with the word “Israel” frequently thrown in. But that’s another discussion altogether. Of course, for all I know, you will post the letter for precisely such a reason. You never know who you're talking to online, unfortunately.)

Well, I ranted. Anyway, thank you.

signed, Anonymous

Monday, June 13, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

His heart morns for souls

Remember before you leave Christianity that Jesus is the "way, truth, and light" "No one gets into heaven except through him". There may be things you don't like about the way certain denominations run things, but religion is not about business or taste its about the truth. Jesus is God and you can't say God is wrong. He is the way to heaven and he also is the one who loves you the most. His heart morns for souls he loses and he wants you to come to him especially in the sacraments that he gave which is why The Roman Catholic Church is the way. Every Christian faith has their strengths, but in the Catholic Church we have the sacraments, which Jesus has reassured, us through saints and his Spirit are necessary for us. So try it out.

May the lord be with you,

Michael Fannon
email: fanno399@aol.com

Saturday, May 28, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

I Chose Deism

As someone who gave up "big C" Christianity forty years ago, I recognize some of the anger inherent in the transition, and applaud this site for giving Xs a place to unload their pent-up anguish.

What puzzles me, however, is that many of the folks here have replaced one form of negativity and absolutism with another, and thus seem to be intellectually in a not very different trap from the one they've recently escaped.

I read comments, for instance, about Mary...rather than being a virgin...having been raped by a priest - or being the daughter of Tiberius, of all things. There is no more evidence (or logic) behind statements like that then there is behind the original lie. How about this...Mary was a young Jewish girl who married a nice Jewish guy and had five or six kids; one of who was named Jesus. The birth myths only began appearing a generation or so after Jesus' execution... we needn't slander either Jesus or Mary for them.

The truth is that over a period of a half millenium or so, the life, meaning, and teachings of Jesus became grossly distorted, and as much for political reasons as theological. The point I have come to in my spiritual journey is to use schlolarship and reason to mine the gems of Jesus' life and teaching (and those in the greater bible as well) from the utter quagmire that orthodox theists, and trinitarians specifically, have created.

If I had to pigeon-hole myself today I'd probably define myself as a Deist with a strong interest in, and admiration for, the spiritual wisdom of the historical Jesus...with secular humanist leanings. Or vice-versa.

The point I'm trying to make here is this: No amount of anger, nor cussing, nor unreasoned attachment to new, negative myths is going to help anyone get beyond the damage orthodox Christianity (or Islam or Judism, etc) has done to them. The only way out is to begin a new path, a new search, toward a new fulfillment.

I chose Deism because of its emphasis on Reason and the laws of Nature that we can all observe. But there is no right nor wrong path (short of a few really weird things like human sacrifice or something equally damaging to mankind). It is the journey, no matter where it takes you, that can make you whole.

John Shuey
jshuey at shueyfamily dot org

Monday, May 23, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

turn on your blinker

All of you are a prime example of a soldier that forgot his sword, shield, and helmet at home, and when he goes to battle naked of weapons, blames the commanding officer for his helplessness.

All of you were tried just like any other human being is promised to be. All of you were sent to spiritual war and were given the tools (i.e., the Bible verses most of you admittedly grew up on) to win it. The difference is you chose to go into battle naked. Well, the enemy pierced you with a fiery dart and you’re convinced it’s God’s fault. Take accountability for your own actions—isn’t it fun being an adult?

And by the way—the icon you have on your homepage, of the cross burning in the fire, is a belief that I wish you would live long enough to, no pun intended, go up in flames. There’s no way that cross is going to burn up in the fire; and if it gets anywhere near it, you know what will happen? It’ll be refined into gold. It won’t ever burn into the ashes that you’ve allowed yourself to become. Truth will never be cremated by lies.

Light will never be put out by darkness. And you, will never know the ramifications of the hellish road you’re walking on until you’ve reached the dead end and wished you had listened to the exit signs Jesus set out for you. Do yourself a favor—turn on your blinker, and take the exit. I’ll meet you at the top of the high road.

unsigned

Saturday, May 21, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Jesus had it coming...

I'm sure my testimony will contain nothing new- born into xtian home, raised to believe in all this nonsense, got out as soon as I could, blah,blah... My real story begins after I lost my faith, when I first realized just how fucked up my head was (and still is) from all of these "teachings".

I suffer from neuroses that were all implanted by the church, and I'm having a very hard time shaking them. Even though I know sex is not "dirty" or "evil", I still have a horrible complex over it, with feelings of guilt and anger running unchecked in my head.

They have a way of de-programming people abducted by cults... is there any comparable method of deprogramming people abducted at birth?

If anyone sees this, feel free to drop me a line. I'm new online and don't really know anybody. Thanks.

bluebeard ( Booker )
blue_beard75 at yahoo dot com

Sunday, May 15, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Keep up the good work!

Hello! I stumbled across your websight and was intrigued enough to stay and read a while :)

I enjoyed reading the story about "It Is Well With My Soul" ( I certainly had never heard the 'rest of the story'), as well as your life testimony. Thank you for the 'history after the hymn'.....it was educational and enlightening! Do you happen to know the 'rest of the story' of Spaffords daughter, Bertha? I do not, but would certainly be interested in finding out. Perhaps you have sent me on my own quest :)

Your personal life history I found poignant at some places, challenging in others, directly honest and a much needed bright light shining in some dark, superficial, hidden and some 'not so hidden' corners within Christianity. I, too, have experienced some of what you have experienced...as well as questioned things (only to find few - if any- people willing to really look at my concerns and questions). I 'appreciated' (?) knowing, once again, that I am not alone in these experiences, and that no, I am not crazy :)

I do still consider myself to be a Christian, a believer in Christ. My own personal challenges are driving me to look deeper, as well. (although admittedly not as deeply as you have, quite yet:) My wrestling match is more along the lines of how as a 'church' we are really, truly representing the God we so eagerly preach to people about, not so much about the authenticity and reality of God.....that I have reconciled with, and have respectibly come to a different conclusion that yourself. I appreciate your perseverance, passion and determination to find the TRUTH, my friend! Keep up the good work!

Colleen :)

Monday, May 09, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Luther was the most visible proponent...

Thanks Dave for this wonderful website, I'm a regular lurker here :) I read some interesting posts on a DVD review site yesterday on the movie Luther. Here's the overpositive PR given for the DVD and the posts in response to it. (From http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=57026)

Grateful Lurker

----------------------------------------------------

From the PR…

Luther was the most visible proponent of the Protestant Reformation and this balanced and historically accurate film shows how Luther, played by an intense and mesmerizing Joseph Fiennes, caused a riot and uprising that changed the path of history and the world of religion irrevocably.

This dramatically gripping and visually stunning movie, depicting the first ever translation of the Bible from Latin and the beginning of the Protestant movement, has a powerhouse cast, with the charismatic Joseph Fiennes, Sir Peter Ustinov, Bruno Ganz and Alfred Molina. In his last ever screen role, 82 year old Peter Ustinov plays a hugely loveable and playful Prince Frederick the Wise, who is enchanted by the tenacity and courage of his citizen monk, Luther. Joseph Fiennes is a lean and handsome Luther, he is an intense deep thinker and a man of determined action. This role has to rival his ‘Shakespeare in Love’ as his most impressive screen work to date.

The film is an epic production that recounts one of the greatest revolutionary periods in history. Veteran British Director Eric Till has produced a rich and evocative classic that takes the viewer back to the sixteenth century. The film is an artistic showcase with extraordinary attention to historic detail, the accuracy in the costumes and settings is mesmerizing. The real life locations – including many medieval churches and castles – give the film an unbeatable sense of authenticity. The level of fidelity to the actual history is remarkable and powerful. The film captures timeless historical moments, including Luther nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Wittenberg church, the Diet of Worms (a council presided over by Emperor Charles V), the Confession of Ausburg.

This is a time when the Middle Ages gave way to revolution, when the power of one man’s convictions rocked the world. Before the reformation one didn’t ask questions, all answers came from the highly structured hierarchy of the church. But Luther was horrified by the scandals and corruption that plagued the 16th century Church. He protested at how the church was securing funds and was taking advantage of its congregations. He chose to risk his life in order to question accepted religious practice. He fought to also reveal the truth of the Bible to the people. This is the man who set the world alight by translating the New Testament from Latin in to German, so common people could have direct access to ‘The Word of God’.

The viewer can’t help but to sympathise with Luther. He is branded a heretic and is excommunicated and banned by both the Emperor and Pope Leo X under the threat of death. He faces the charge that he is tearing the church apart. He grapples repeatedly with the possibility that he is destroying rather than building God’s kingdom.

Luther is horrified when he sees his efforts to reform the church turning anarchistic, co-opted by others for political purposes. He is appalled by the popular revolution with the attendant butchery and bloodshed. Passions are set alight and the film shows townspeople burning churches, destroying relics, dragging the monks who cared for them out of their church and pummelling them. Rocks crash through stained glass windows, the blood of peasants runs on the floors of ruined churches.

Luther’s gentle heart is torn to pieces, he wanted to show men the path of truth and love, and instead surveying the carnage he agonises: “I have torn the world apart”. In the midst of the pain however, in a true life twist worthy of a Hollywood plot, Luther marries an escapee nun, Katerina (Claire Cox)!

The movie has all the elements of a blockbuster. It is also a remarkable tale of a man who transcended all the powers and principalities of this world. It is an inspiring lesson in having the courage to do the right thing.


--------------------------------------------
RESPONSES:

ElectricSheep:

The PR posted says "this balanced and historically accurate film" and "the level of fidelity to the actual history is remarkable and powerful".

Is that true or is the movie a one-sided attempt at showcasing history? As an non-religious person, I'm just getting a little tired of history being whitewashed. I don't like ignorance spreading like that, especially when faced with such PR.

Luther isn't just one of the initiators of protestantism. He had some serious (and violent) issues with Jews, prostitutes etc. Does the film cover this too? Does it go over his book "Von den Juden und ihren Lügen" ('About the Jews and their lies')? Many who have read this work of Luther's and know of his anti-semitic sentiments, have labelled him the Hitler of his century. The Nazi district-leader Julius Streicher specifically referred to Martin Luther's influence on his own anti-semitism during the Nuremburg trials.

In Luther's book "Von den Juden und ihren Lügen", he outlines his 7-step plan to persecute Jewish people. Here's a summary of these:

(1) Set fire to Synagogues and (their) schools. About this, Luther said "Und solches sol man thun, unserm Herrn und der Christenheit zu ehren damit Gott sehe, das wir Christen seien" ('And such should people do, to honour our Lord and Christianity such that God sees, that we are Christians')

(2) Destroy the houses of Jews and drive them together into a stable/shed

(3) Rob the Jews of all their religious literature, upto the last page

(4) Forbid the Jews, on pain of death, to openly pray to God

(5) Put the the Jews under house-arrest

(6) Take away from the Jews all their gold, silver and jewels (take it into custody)

(7) Make the young, strong Jews work hard

And Luther's ideas/beliefs didn't stop there. I'm going to do some literal translations from the original German here, so bear with the bad grammar:

About children with disabilities, he had this to say: "Wenn man aber von den teufelsähnlichen Kindern erzählt ... so halte ich dafür ... dass es wahre Teufel sind" ('But when people speak of the devil- lookalike children ... then that's why I think .... that they are true devils').

Adulterers and prostitutes also had a place in his, as the PR puts it, 'gentle heart'. Speaking of prositutes he said "Wenn ich Richter wäre, so wollte ich eine solche französische giftige Hure rädern und ädern lassen" ('If I were judge, then I would let such a poisonous French prostitute [undergo unpleasant torture to do with bloodletting and breaking limbs on a wheel]').

Luther on adulterers "Warum tötet man die Ehebrecher nicht?", meaning "Why don't people kill the adulterers?".

He also toyed with the idea of killing the Pope: "Der Papst ist der Teufel; könnte ich den Teufel umbringen, warum wollte ichs nicht tun?" ('The pope is the devil; were I able to kill the devil, why wouldn't I do it?').

There's a lot more, but I'll stop here. In light of all of this, I wonder whether any viewer should sympathise with Luther like the PR claims they would. The claim that "It is an inspiring lesson in having the courage to do the right thing" is rather disturbing. If that is right, I don't want to know what wrong is...

--------------------------------------------

mateo107:

not to sound insensative, because i don't agree with most of what Martin Luther stood for, but what does this really have to do with the DVD? unfortunately, while some of Luther's ideas were new and groundbreaking, some of them were the common prejudices of his day. i wouldn't expect to see a movie about Henry Ford mention his antisemitsm, since that isn't really related to his accomplishments. perhaps it's not right that society has forgotten about the dark side of Ford, Lindberg, Luther, etc., but instead maybe we should respect that Lutherans have decided to dismiss certain teachings of Luther.

~MATEO


--------------------------------------------

ElectricSheep:

Mateo,

I was referring to the DVD's PR blurb when I posted before. It seemed to imply a one-sided view of an historical figure who had a whole range of ideas, some of which seems to have been omitted from "this balanced and historically accurate film". I could be wrong, perhaps the film does cover all his writings on various topics, but the PR doesn't indicate this.

For fear of taking this discussion off topic, I still want to address some of what you've said. I can't agree with your assessment. Some of Luther's ideas may have been common prejudices of his day, but the fact that he is a man whose (religious) ideas are followed puts him in a different position from Lindberg and Ford. Ford and Lindberg were not political or religious leaders who went out to share their visions in these areas with others. Their main contributions are in different fields altogether. I've never heard of any institutions called Fordism or Lindbergism where people chose to follow their collective opinions on how society should be. I don't know much about Ford or Lindberg, but as far as I know, people don't use Ford or Lindberg as a rolemodel in this sense.

However, Luther is such a man. "That we should respect that Lutherans have decided to dismiss certains teachings of Luther" implies that they had a choice in this decision. I don't know about others, but my parents and I never learnt about Luther's more controversial views. I suspect that most people aren't informed about it either. If we had known, we might have decided to only accept part of his teachings or leave him behind altogether far earlier. The fact is, there is only one website that has an English translation of his book "Von den Juden und ihren Lügen". Unsurprisingly, it's a site that wholeheartedly accepts all his teachings: an Aryan (neo-nazi) website. Clearly there are those people who respect all of Luther's viewpoints even today. The man's complete teachings have the ability to inspire the wrong kind of ideals.

There are other historical characters who've influenced the societal choices of nations, for a time at least. Many of these have now rightly been identified as flawed (or even as monsters). We do not choose to see only their good points. On the other hand, as I recall, the film "The Downfall" was seriously opposed for its depiction of Hitler as anything but a monster. No one will make a film that only shows his 'good side' (with a PR to match) and no one will claim to follow only his 'good teachings'. Not today, and I hope not four centuries later either.

Luther's teachings have definitely been influential right up to mid last century. Nazi Julius Streicher, mentioned in the last post, was only one example, more famous because he was a ringleader. Another example: In the year 1940/41, people with disabilities who were entrusted to the evangelical institutions for the disabled in Neuendettelsau/Bayern were, with reference to Lutheran state teachings, finally handed over to the state authorities. That they were put to death, was known to those responsible. 65 years ago is not as long ago as one might think.

Luther was not only anti-semitic, he was also gravely opposed to other religious groups. According to him, if they would not submit to the church they should be handed over to the executioner. He also bore a great hatred towards Turks (inciting people to murder and rob them), etc.

My previous post still has relevance to the DVD release. Many people that are going to see this movie don't know much about the actual history of its namesake. For example, converts in developing countries will be shown this film and will accept that Luther is purely a saint-like reformer. That sets the stage, as it has in the past, for accepting many of his other philosophies (e.g. dislike/hatred of religious minorities). I expect the DVD release to at least have a backflap that indicates that this film shows only the good teachings of Luther, rather than the rosy-coloured promo seen above. Furthermore, I would think it appropriate that the DVD also has some extras (even just textual notes) on his other ideas and that these should not be considered acceptable in the present-day. It is more than just historical accuracy, it is social responsibility. (And yes, this also extends to DVD releases).

Yes, there are a lot of bad things in the church, BUT I STILL LOVE JESUS!

Yes, there are a lot of bad and sad stories to say about the church. Believe me I know them all. I've known people to cheat on their wives, some people are mean and judgemental. Yes, it is confusing to date someone in church, believe me I've been there and done that. Not only that, but I'm part middle-eastern which makes it even more diffacult for me because everybody thinks bad of me before even getting to know me. BUT EVEN WITH ALL OF THAT, I HAVE NOT GIVEN UP BECAUSE EVEN WHEN I WAS IN THE WORST MOMENT IN MY LIFE BECAUSE MY MOM WAS IN THE HOSPITAL AND I HAD NO HUMAN PERSON TO COMFORT ME, I FELT A CERTAIN PEACE IN MY HEART. WHEN I GO TO A CHURCH I KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT LIKE ME, OR MAYBE EVEN JUDGE ME BUT WHO CARES!!!!! I'M GOING TO WALK THRU THOSE PEARLY GATES EVEN IF IT MEANS GOING IN BY THE SKIN OF MY TEETH. THE BIBLE SAYS THE KINGDON OF HEAVEN SUFFERS VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT WILL TAKE IT BY FORCE... YES ITS EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS. IT MEANS TO HAVE A LITTLE BACK BONE, IT MEANS SUFFERING, IT MEANS SOMETIMES BEING REJECTED, IT MEANS FALLING IN SIN AND YET GET UP AND RISE AGAIN. A RIGTEOUS MAN MAY FALL SEVEN TIMES AND THE LORD WILL MAKE HIM RISE AGAIN... THE REASON I SAY NOT TO GIVE UP IS BECAUSE WE ARE HERE ON BORROWED TIME ON THIS EARTH. THIS IS YOUR LIFE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. YOUR SPIRIT IS 100% REAL JUST AS YOUR BODY IS 100% REAL. IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR CHURCH GO TO ANOTHER ONE UNTIL YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE, OR THAT YOU FEEL SPIRITUALLY EDIFIED. BECAUSE GOD WILL NEVER LIE TO YOU HE SAID HE SHALL SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GUIDE YOU TO ALL TRUTH. IF YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD INSTEAD OF MAN IF YOU REALIZE YOU ARE SPECIAL AND HE DIED FOR YOU. YOU WONT GIVE UP. DONT GIVE UP EVER!!

IMPERFECT CHRISTIAN, AND YET HAVEN'T GIVEN UP
email: ZainabHassan04@yahoo.com

Sunday, May 01, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Praying (preying?) season

I wish to ask you something and particularly to the believer who accidentally ends up here:

Can you explain to me the concept of praying? PLEASE!

I am 30, come from France and lived in the UK Including Belfast), Germany and I am now in Switzerland. I am a doctor in chemistry and received a catholic education. I was baptised only a few weeks old and did 3 the communion sacraments. I was always there more to be like most people rather than by strong conviction but the death of my grand mother when I was 15 triggered the freeing from the religious ideas. I am now strongly against the philosophy of most known religions (those I know about anyway and in particular the religions attached to a revealed book). I have recently read a good chunk of the bible (could not bring myself to read the whole thing, I was too disgusted) and did pretty much the same with the coran. Now that you have a rough idea of where my reflection is coming from, I'll start.

The roman catholic community has just been through a very important stage, the pope died and a new one was designated. This event was (too?) widely covered by European media bringing a chill done my spine regarding the influence of the Vatican and its worldwide organisation. The population, whatever their convictions could be, was repeatedly called to pray for the dying pope during the last days of his life, after his death and then praying to the new pope. I found this most indecent. I now wish to give and receive other people's ideas on the concept of praying.

The pope, head of the church, is allegedly the person the most closely connected to the catholic god. This god is, according to the bible, almighty, all-knowing and timeless. Who would have a better seat to take care of everything on Earth? But no, people are called to pray, ask for favours to the entity that sees, can and knows all to a much better extend than the poor mortal organic-based living species we are. How much pretentious do you have to be? What makes you believe that the superior being cares about you plea. Even if he does, who are prayers to think that they know better, or that they may have been overlooked by the perfect creator?

This disgusts me.

Does the pope need extra praying for their god to be influenced? Does not their god know exactly what must happen, and has he not known this for ever? The same goes for the new pope, why pray for him, for him to go in the good direction? Is he not a bit special so that their god guides him properly? I had always been revolted by sportsmen signing themselves at the beginning, during or at the end of a performance (who are they to thing they deserve special attention from their "just and loving" god (I may have to come back to that in a future testimony...) when so many people, including some far more religious and dedicated than them, suffer and die for no reason? But trying to enslave the masses by asking them to pray and submit, this goes too far.

Where is the voice of realism? I do not know and have been called intolerant, even racist when exposing this view.

Such hypocrisy...

Alex
Collombey
Switzerland
grandbarbu at yahoo dot com

Saturday, April 30, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Liberal Christian

You probably don't want my story but I'd like to say that I think I understand how all this happens.

First and formost religions and various writings are man made, man propagated and sustained by man. I do believe in God but the generic version who perhaps sits somewhere shaking his/her head wondering when everyone will finally get it!

I've always been of the opinion that faith precedes but is eventually displaced by knowledge. The two keep moving ahead. When enough melding is done wisdom begins to show. Our younger brothers and sisters who have yet to discover this are indeed brainwashed but are helpless to change. I believe a lot of those ministers are brain washed too.

I call this spiritual evolution and have come to believe strongly in the concept of each of us living hundreds of lifetimes while we learn. Eventually we come to the point where it is no longer necessary to be human anymore, we become like Jesus though his mission was unique. Then we go off to other worlds of existance for "new adventures". Sigh! Now there's a happy thought...

Debunk the bible? Hell, which one? If it is truly perfect then changing it would be the ultimate blasphemy! It's pointless to use mind over emotion unless it be to insulate oneself from harm.

I just hope while I'm here that I never have to live in a theocracy! I guess I'm a cafeteria Christian. I take what appeals to me.

Patience Bro,

Rev JP Simmons

ATTENTION ALL EX-CHRISTIANS:

sent in by Sarah
Check out this very christian press release.

http://www.godhatesfags.com/fliers/jan2005/Tsunami_1-1-2005.pdf

Do I need to say more?

Social control at its worst.

No comment needed.

Take Action! It's Fun!

Hello all, LOVE the site, was just turned on to it by a close friend. I've been a very active ex-christian for about 20 years now, agressively attacking religion and myth-based moralities whenver I can. I walked away from Catholicism with ease and confidence. Since my dad has since followed suit, it's not been difficult. But having moved to a very religious town filled with Aggressive Evangelicals and Intolerant Congregationalists and Self-Righteous Assembly-of-Godders, I've found quite a bit of acrimony directed my way. I personally find this type of Christian, the nouveau-Protestant, as I call them, far worse than your typical sin-and-confess rosary clutching Catholic. Example - I was a soccer player, and my daughter wants to play and I want to coach her. But no less than FOUR Bible thumpers (I believe they worked in collusion), once they found that their precious brood would be on my team, decided to withdraw their enrollments. I was asked nicely not to coach, but refused. The kind man who runs the league was good enough to shuffle the rosters. But the whole thing just peeved me to no end!

Anyway, to the story that leads to the title of this post: I have found it INCREDIBLY rewarding to give these proselytizing jerks a taste of their own medicine. What I did was take some of my own old writings as an existentialism major in college, some stuff from Robert Ingersoll (if you're not familiar with Ingersoll, you MUST look him up on the Net and read him. Beautiful, rational, powerful humanistic/agnostic writing from the latter 19th century), and condensed them into a concise, simple treatise entitled "YOU ARE LIVING A LIE." The piece basically sums up a critique of Chritianity and religion in general, provides an alternative in Humanism, and beseeches the reader to free him/herself from the dogma. I've been printing a bunch of these out, folding them up like pamphlets, then going to the parking lots of the local God Centers and placing them under windshield wipers. I haven't been told to quit yet, but then I've only done it three times so far. If only one person sees the light, then I will consider my work a success.

Michael Close
michaeljclosejr1971 at yahoo dot com

Saturday, April 23, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Fear...its all based on fear!

People of the world are innately selfish....and will do all they can to get over on their neighbor.....

I've never been able to totally believe, always felt uncomfortable in church and the whole religion thing. Now, since time has passed, I realize it is BS. I came to this realization on my own....and I am glad i came across your site..

This thought hit me one day...If God granted me life and Jesus died for my sins, then I have to believe that prior to that I was sitting in some room somewhere waiting to be chosen so that I can come to earth and have a life filled with pain and fear....both put there by the bible..and that I shuld be grateful!!!!!!!.Just doesn't make sense.....never did.

Another thing, God is assuming I want eternal life.....I don't want eternal life....I just want to live life, the one i know I have....guilt free and free to look around and enjoy as much as possible..

Anyway, thank you for your site....

Joseph
jmdpo at yahoo dot com

Why Ex-Christians Are So Pissed Off

Any Christian that visits this site enough will realize that tons of people are pissed off. Perhaps that's an understatement. Enraged is more like it. We have all lost something because we walked down the Christian road and found it treacherous, dangerous and beset by bandits, thieves and ravenous wolves.

We sought for God and for goodness, but we found hypocrisy, dysfunction, close-mindness, guilt, shame, and a people only too willing to condemn our friends and loved ones to hell because they disagreed.

Who will give us back those years, those relationships and friendships we could have had, that time we could have spent growing and learning about ourselves more and about others? No one can, and that is what enrages us against the fools peddling false gold.

There's more. We are angry, because Christianity attacks our sense of dignity and worth.

After all of the talk about morality, Christians are forced to support a religion that condemns individuals based on one thing -- whether they believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Under these conditions, 1) a Christian is saying in effect that no human being's actions have moral value or relevance if he/she falls under another belief system and 2) that every human being who rejects a culturally-specific and limited view of who God is and how He has revealed Himself to the world is worthy of damnation.

Why wouldn't I be insulted by that? Theoretically, if a man is hung for killing a family of 5, I have no objection and will say that the state is just for executing right judgment.

But if a man is hung or tortured because his hair is red, or he prefers to drink coffee rather than tea, where is the justice in this?

The Bible is guilty of double-talk here: If I don't believe in Christ, I'm condemned regardless of my actions; my beliefs, my morals, my hopes, my dreams have no meaning -- Christians believe this, and have the nerve to say it to my face and smile while they do it.

To add insult to injury, no Christian I've encountered even acknowledges this fundamental problem. There is nothing so frustrating as speaking to a person who CANNOT understand why their position fundamentally insults your sense of worth and dignity.

So, my dear Christian, believe what you will. But don't tell me that you love me while supporting a religion that discounts me as a person able to make moral choices, deserving more than an eternity in flames just because I don't think that you have a monopoly on who God is and what he looks like.

If there is a God, he belongs to all of us. And we don't deserve hell for believing so.

from "Figuring It Out"

Monday, April 18, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Anyone ever have a huge meltdown and reconvert?

I was just wondering if anyone ever had a complete meltdown and "re-repented" of their sin? The reason I am asking is because I am very close to do just that.

I haven't been a Christian for over three years. Before that, I was a christian for about seven years.

I am under a lot of stress. I live far away from my family-- work in a hugely Christian small town community-- coworkers, new friends, everyone seems to be christian and I am really feeling the pressure. It's like I can't make a new friend without someone eventually inquiring whether or not I know Jesus as Lord.

It doesn't help that I bait them.

What is my problem? Why am I baiting Christians or even letting them bother me? I am so nervous to be even admitting this I am nervously looking over my shoulder at work as I type. I don't want anyone walking up (I work in an elementary school) and asking me what I am doing, and finding out the depths of my heathenism.

It was never this hard in college!

Additionally, I DO somtimes feel like God is still around-- even though I know thats total crap. Am I going to be brainwashed forever?! It's been three years? Has anyone else ever felt this way?

Maria

Wednesday, April 06, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

an oasis of reason

Hello,

I happened upon your site while reading up on Reformed Theology, Calvinism, Dominionism, Recontructionism, and various (ad hominem deleted) like Gary North (Y2K guy, I'm sure you know who he is).

Anyway, I read your testimony regarding your deconversion, and your transformation from Christian to agnostic to Atheist (or Freethinker). After reading through tons of hateful clap-trap like that spewed forth by people like Gary North, I can't describe what a pleasure it is to see someone speaking his mind so forcefully and rationally, not to mention courageously, since your website obviously has a great deal of traffic.

I am an atheist, though I had years of spiritual struggles, during which times I was trying to resolve conflicts within my own mind without realizing that it was never my own mind that was at fault, but that in fact it was the contradictory and nonsensical belief system to which I was desperately trying to conform my thinking processes which was at fault.

Though I may be an atheist, I do not rule out the possibility of some type of Aristotelian Prime Mover, some benign and ineffable entity which might be entitled to my utmost respect; but I doubt that such a being would resent anyone's honest and decent quest for the truth, no matter how errant that quest might ultimately be.

I hope your website continues to be instrumental in helping others on their quest for the truth. It's an oasis of reason and good will in an often irrational and mean-spirited virtual-world.

I hope you get this message, and I wish you the very best, and the very best to the ones you love.

With kindest regards,
William A. Baurle
williamabaurle at yahoo dot com

Sunday, April 03, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

HOW TO HANDLE CHRISTIAN RELATIVES/FRIENDS/CO-WORKERS

sent in by Sarah

This letter is an opportunity to share how you deal with christian relatives, friends, and co-workers. Please mention what worked and what didn't work. We all have to deal with Christians from time to time and how can we deal with them in the most polite manner?

This is not time to discuss anti-apolgetics, because that would imply debating, which we do plenty of anyway. This just addresses how to be civil and get along. (If we have to see them for holidays, work, ect..)

Any ideas? What worked for you and what didn't work?

How do you deal with the difficult Christian?

"Is there a God?"

Dave,

I stumbled upon your site by accident while looking for something else. I just read the story of your life and have been perusing some other areas of the site.

Your story reads like a laundry list of some of the most misguided doctrines and their proponents...Pentacostalism, AOG, Rushdooney/Reconstructionism, Arminianism, second baptism nonsense, Charsmatic tongues, premillenial eschatology, the list goes on...UGH! Not to mention some of the most pathetic answers and worst advice I've ever heard from clergy or someone who professes a knowledge of and belief in the God of the Bible. Misguided is putting it mildly, some of this stuff is positively delusional.

Without getting into a lengthy discussion, it seems to me that in all of this you never really started at the begining and got answers to some of life's most important questions from people who should have been able to provide those answers or at least the direction on where to find those answers. That is a real sad commentary on Christianity in America (and Japan apparently) today. I can understand why you'd want to leave that all behind. I sure would.

I think that all the questions you raised are important especially the ones about biblical contradictions. But I also think the most important question, the question (and answer) on which all those other questions and answers must be predicated, is the question, "Is there a God?" And if there is a God, can we live without Him? If there's no God and we can be deffinatively sure of this, then Christian's are some of the most pathetic and pitiable people in history (even Paul says so). On the other hand, if there is a God, knowing his nature and character would be important goals because it's likely that thumbing our nose at him won't get us anywhere (at least not anywhere we want to go).

At the end of the day "religiousity" is a very poor substitute for answers and an emotional "conversion experience is a poor substitute for true salvation.

I have a book here written by an Indian guy who was raised Hindu that really had an impact on my worldview, how I understand God, and answered many of the most philosophical, theological, and practical questions that I had - many of which you have asked throughout your life as related in your anti-testimony. The book is called "Can Man Live Without God?" and it's by Ravi Zacharias. Maybe you've heard of it or read it already. If not, I would deffinately pick it up when you have the chance. I've heard Zacharias speak on occassion and have never heard someone ask him a question that he wasn't able to answer - sometimes in ways that just floor the audience and the questioner. From communist and islamic heads of state to college students and clergy, he's addressed them all. I recently heard him again when he addressed the Brigade of Midshipmen here in Annapolis at the USNA.

His book can be found HERE.

He has also authored "Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims Of The Christian Message" and "Who Made God: And Answers to over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith". You might find those interesting or possibly...ahem..."cannon" fodder for your website. :) You seem to be a serious searcher and someone who is also a lifelong student. Whether you believe in God or not, and whether or not you like the God you do or don't believe in, I hope the God I believe in will bless your journey even if it has been at times dissappointing so far. It aint over til its over.

-Erik
eheisig@connectiv.net

I've seen it all

My name is Dean. I'm a student at a Bible college where I'm taking a course on Apologetics, which is the defense of the Christian faith. My professor gave us your web-site and asked us to check it out and to try to respond to some of the articals. It sounds easy enough, but when I came to this site and started reading the personal testimonies, my heart was broken. These testimonies are the most important material on this web-site. We could argue for the rest of our lives siting scientist after scientist and philosopher after philosopher.

We could talk about history, archeology, and biology until we are all blue in the face but the only thing that can not be disputed is someone's testimony because it is real to them. I've read so many testimonies on this web-site about people who have been decieved, demoralized, cheated, disallusioned, and generally mistreated by people and organizations flying the Christian banner. The bad part for me is that I believe it all because I've seen it all. As a child my mother draged me to almost every denomination of Christian church that there is along with the occational trip to see the latest, greatest traveling evangelist slash healer of the time. So many beliefs, so many contradictions, so much conflict, so much judgement, so much hippocracy, and so much rejection.

The good thing for me, however, is that somehow I didn't turn away from God. All this experiance made me look to see what God had to say about all this garbage. What did the Bible say is right, not man. Once I had done this, things suddenly became clear to me. Even though one of the main objectives of Christianity is to be like Christ, we can never acheive it. I realized that I was holding these people to a higher standard than myself because they claimed to be Christians, but they were still people and a person who makes no mistakes is a person who does nothing. So I learned to live with the mistakes of others and myself and to seek God's word for real truth. The change in me was real and complete and my life has not been the same since. I still do a lot of things wrong (this whole letter is probably wrong) and I still mistreat people, but it's about 10% as bad as it ever was. That's pretty good buy any standard and I'm getting better all the time. That's my testimony and it is very real to me.

I want to end this letter by apologizing to all of you who were ever mistreated in any way by a Christian or Christain organization. Often times we forget that we are the only representation of Christanity that people see. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm trying to make excuses for people, it's just that sometimes we (as people) misrepresent Christ.

Thank you and God bless,
Dean
email: dean8897 at juno dot com

Saturday, April 02, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Folderol and Fiddledeedee

sent in by M.a.o.

This could take a while; never give a prolific writer a chance to express their passionate viewpoint. It just doesn't stop.
-----------------------
To be frank at the beginning, I was supposed to be born Catholic. By the terms of my parents' marriage agreement (so they could be married in my mother's church), I was basically signed off to the Merry Mindfuck Corporation, Peter's Branch, before I was even conceived, since my father is a Lutheran, and she is, obviously, Catholic. Since they didn't want children, they had no problem with it, as far as I'm aware.

Obviously, protective sex has gained a bit since the early 80's.

I was born - and, in a marvelous statement as to the rest of my life, apparently ass-first, forcing them to do Cesearian - and my parents, who had by then moved out of the city, went to take me to the local church for baptismal. So far as I've understood it, the church wouldn't do it for free, as they weren't part of the assembly - my father says $100, which seems a bit odd for 1981, but who am I to understand the mentally depraved? - so I am, to this day, blissfully damned by being un-baptized. (According to my father, if being dunked in water is all it took, he baptized me every time he gave me a bath as a baby. This is why, despite his belief, he is the shit.) This has caused marvelous conflicts with my current boss, but I'll get to that juicy rant later.

Anyway, I was born, missed the baptismal bus, and realized early on that I was also just lucky enough to be born in the most assbackwards, lily-white, conservative Christian county in the state of Wisconsin. I, being half-Mexican and clearly looking it, was of course accepted with full and warmest regards by my classmates - and if you believe that, I have some prime farmland behind my house to sell you as well. Has some bastard angel with a flaming sword who won't leave, though. Needless to say, I was probably the only non-Caucasian student in my elementary school, maybe one of two or three in my middle school, and one of perhaps ten by the time I graduated high school. Almost every single one of them was either Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran (though I still have no fucking clue what the difference is between those last two, and both a Protestant and two Lutherans can't tell me), or, perhaps, a batshit insane Born-Again. Almost every single classmate I had went to Sunday school, which didn't necessarily register in my mind as something religious; just something I could laugh at them for, because HA HA HA, I didn't have to get my ass up to go to church, nor the class.

Why didn't it register? Well, my home life was fucking mad anyway - my parents are so queerily seperate from one another that they may as well just be roommates in the same house. My mother spent most of my life up until high school working second shift and spending her nights at the bar. My father is intelligent, fiercely passionate with his beliefs on whatever topic, but was not the touchy-feely type, really. So I spent much of my time playing outside, having friends who regularly stabbed me in the back, and watching TV. Neither of my parents went to church - I think I've honestly been inside of a grand total of three churches in my life, not counting assembly halls as my aunt is a Jehovah's Witness - so my religious education came mostly in the form of animated Bible Stories. You know. The three kid archeologists in Egypt somehow travel back in time to witness stories from the Bible. Marvelous animation for its time. Completely banal storylines. I had no idea they meant them to be serious. How could I? I never went to church, was told about God or Jesus except through a kind of osmosis, and never really had any reason to believe in the crazy shit. It was TV and a cartoon, and for me as a kid to believe in some Moses dude parting the sea was about the same as me believing there was a group of talking rodents rescuing people in New York.

I also had no idea Jehovah's Witnesses were supposed to be loopy until a few years ago, because my aunt is surprisingly not open - to me, anyway - about her views, I've only seen a few of their assembly halls and I spent the time staring into space, and her kids said nothing about it. She had nice picture books with, y'know, those majestic lions every damned Christian picture book seems to have, but that was about it.

So I grew up thankfully mentally sound, even if my ego took a daily beating in school because I couldn't change my skin colour. Made it into high school without any serious injury, and, thanks to the discovery of music outside of contemporary adult, also underwent a change from "Hopeful, Shy Puppy" into "Somewhat Hopeful, But Why The Fuck Bother?" and continued to watch people, because it's just what I do. I've since realized this may be a clue to my relatively uncluttered headspace; when you're the observer, you're prone to recognizing problems others don't. Almost every single student was some sort of jackass, conforming to the eternal stereotypes of some sort or another, and hopelessly quick to judge. Religion didn't often come up, but it seemed odd that it was so obviously there, hanging over everyone's heads, even if the students who came from the Catholic schools were the worst at breaking the rules. Hypocritical to a fault and completely closed-minded. It made me realize finally that I really was an athiest, because the logical, rational whole of my brain simply couldn't accept the doggeral they drooled. Told my mother when I was seventeen, which prompted a shrill "What?! Of course you believe in God!"

"Uh, no. Why would I? What reason was I ever given to believe in the first place? When have we gone to church? Read the Bible? Give me a break."

That precipitated my third and last visit to a church: I was forcibly dragged to the Catholic Church during our Easter trip to visit our relatives in Texas. Wonderful nap.

It's amazing what you then notice when you've finally realized that yes, people who still believe so strongly in God are completely insane. My born-again aunt is barely above poverty level, because she gave almost all of her inheiritance to her church, and a good portion of her income currently, despite having to raise a son - who was born a bastard, I will add, from a member of that same church. My roommate is a WELS Lutheran, born a bastard - his father is, from records, one of the richest men in Wisconsin - adopted by a pastor and his wife, and is apparently haunted by his dead mother and sister's spirit, which means he is not only mentally tipped, but spiritually questioning. Constantly. I'd call him an athiest if only for the fact he can curse God, God's plan, and everything else, yet still say he believes in Jesus. He can agree with almost everything I point out that contradicts the Bible, the sheer mind-numbing idiocy of Christianity, the hypocrisy of God, yet still revert back to the ol' Jesus hype.

My boss and her husband are WELS Lutheran too, after changing from Protestant in a snit over being snubbed over a building contract for the church, and from her once being Catholic - all Mexicans are, pretty much. They stand as a monument as to why I am gloriously athiest. She is the most insanely hypocritical, racist, insensitive Christian I've met, yet claims I'm close-minded and terrible. He pretty much follows whatever she says, because he is whipped. Both of them together are like a fundamental tornado of bricks; it appears suddenly, beats you without a chance of a real defense, and disappears, leaving chaos in its wake. Not surprisingly, they're also staunch Republicans who voted for Bush both times, even writing a letter to the local paper this last time as to the fact that voting for Bush is essentially a vote against the evil, Godless terrorists, and if he wins, we've won against them. She apparently said letting Terri Shiavo die could allow for a second Holocaust, as Hitler got the idea from euthanizing the drooling retarded.

Not a single Christian can tell me yet the real reason God kicked Adam and Eve out of Eden. It's fascinating to tell them what it says - have them dispute you - then pulling out the Bible and pointing to the very quote. Silence.

It's also fundamentally disturbing to see people believe in a theological entity that is perfect, but flawed; loving and kind, yet vengeful and spiteful; the Only God, who still refers to other gods; who made us "In His Image," begging the question that if it was spiritual and mental instead of physical, was God originally as dumb as a sack of bricks? To see people believe in a book that offers up flawed moral advice, only to spit venom at others who actually follow a moral creed Christians claim they're solely entitled to. To see people believe in a religion that has sparked the raping and looting of fellow Christians, the raping and looting of non-Christians, the forcible conversion of thousands, the torture and burning of thousands, and the current trend of wartime hypocrisy.

Being athiest isn't a decision. It's practically a lifesaving device.
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Note: as some fundamentalist will no doubt leave some misspelled, improperly typed and punctuated remark to the point of me needing to find God because He's so marvelous and blahblahblah, I'll say this; tend to the log in your own eye, before you look to the splinter in another's eye.

Have a pleasently misguided day.

URL: http://www.meijinhada.org
Email Address: 8_24 at grievousbodilyharm dot com