Tuesday, August 28, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Xian Brainwashing

Sent in by NZC70

I've been a reader of this outstanding site for quite a while, and I've made it part of my daily reading. I've been wanting to participate more, but time hasn't allowed it. However, I've come across a new (at least to me) xian disturbing method of brainwashing that I just had to address.

Here's a prime example of how some xian preachers are now re-enforcing the hold they have over their "flock". They have the congregation hold up their bibles and repeat the following: "This is my bible: I am what it says I am; I have what it says I have; I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I'll boldly confess. My mind is alert; my heart is receptive; I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living Seed of the Word of God. I'll never be the same - never, never, never! I'll never be the same, in Jesus' Name."

Boy, talk about brainwashing! It almost makes me want to puke. The really scary thing is the "flock" as they buy into this (remember one must have faith) are, or become, truely mindless lambs being led by master manipulators (mind you, some preachers probably really believe this crap, but I believe most are just working the mind control game for their own benefit).

How dare a true xian ever think for his/herself after "confessing" this. Talk about being blindly led down the primrose path. After having utted this preposterous statement, one ("a true believer") cannot possibly dare to think anything is true except what the bible and/or the preacher says. I see this as the most blatant and dangerous form of xian mind control yet enacted.

I guess one positive aspect (from our perspective) is that xtianity must be running scared to resort to this method.

I hate to admit that I too was once caught up in this "mind game", but I finally (after 20 years; my deconversion is very similar to most of the testimonies) saw it for what it is and have joyfully left it behind. So, understanding the mind control perpetrated up us fellow exians, I applaude you for standing on your own two feet, using your brain and common sense to think for yourself, and having the courage to make a decision to be free; I encourage you in your freedom!

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Monday, August 27, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

A letter to my concerned friend and pastor at church:

Sent in by Jeff

Dear friend, thanks so much for your note of concern regarding my absence from the church community of late. I’m sorry I’m just replying to it! Grab hold, I’m going to share what I think. I share this with you in confidence, as I’m in the wrong community (a small Texas town) for this to be general knowledge.

In all honesty, you and I have shared some of the questions of faith that I’ve encountered over the last couple of years, and I have appreciated having an “ear” for that limited dialogue. I think it would be fair to you and Pastor to let you know that my “faith journey” has changed fairly significantly and dramatically since my return to Texas, and perhaps had the seeds of change much earlier, prior to our move from Utah.

I find at present that it is very difficult for me to be honest with myself (and therefore others) during our worship, and I somehow feel that I’m not entirely being genuine as I pray the prayers and recite the creeds, because in fact I no longer own many of those beliefs. I’m afraid that I’m not able to see this earth in the often-described black-and-white dichotomy of true and correct spiritual belief versus the harmfulness of “the world.” I’ve resolved that I am, in fact, a natural product of this world and am not separate from it. I don’t claim natural or “spiritual” advantage. I can’t subscribe any more to the necessities to somehow separate myself from those who might “believe” differently, or who have lived in another culture different and non-congruent to the gospel that I’m advocated to spread. I’m unwilling to consider that I might have just serendipitously stumbled upon revealed “truth” by way of being lucky enough to live where I live, or to be in a culture where it’s promoted and culturally normalized. I’m afraid that I can’t ignore those questions that arise outside of the fold.

Perhaps the hardest thing for me at this point comes at the heels of the last six political years, and seeing the results of campaigns that have attempted to clarify which are the “chosen” or “moral” among our population at large. It’s been disheartening to me to see our country polarized and divided over issues of “belief.” For all the good that’s been done in religion’s name, I’m saddened by the harm as well. I can only hope for my son, as he grows into an adult, an ability to contemplate how wonderful and beautiful and mysterious is our natural world, and about the possibility that he can grow up thinking and considering, loving deeply and joyously, without needing to hear (week after week) about our spoiled and sinful nature, and about how God would otherwise be extremely disappointed with creation had it not been for the ultimate sacrificial offering, and about how grateful we ought to be for it. I’ve lived long enough to observe that human nature doesn’t appear to be changed all that much by professed belief and that humans are capable of amazing things both wonderful and evil, the world over.

I do miss the church community of friendly and wonderful people, who are on a similar quest for truth. Departing from this community of belief has been the somewhat saddest and most difficult part of any prior journey for me, but also the most satisfying, and the journey most worthy of travel. I’ll always have a deep love for the “people of God,” and have all respect, admiration and awe for the lessons Jesus taught about compassion, the call for justice, and the leveling of unjust power systems that oppress and hurt people. It’s a truly worthy calling and I believe a lot of people within and without the church have the desire and ability to change the world for the better.

I will remain a “friend” of the church, although I’m in the process of seeking my community, which I may never entirely find. We might attend as a family occasionally, as my wife and son are not in the same place with me. For now my boy has chosen to continue to be involved with confirmation classes, and I don’t yet know what my wife will ultimately decide or if she will continue along the same journey. I’m afraid that for the most part it was I who got the troops rolling on the Sunday worship, so (naturally?) our family won’t be as permanent a fixture in the pews. I encourage them both to walk along their own spiritual paths and seek goodness and truth, and I can never bring myself to antagonize people of faith for the sake of pride or “winning the argument.” Too many of my life-heroes are people of faith—you two included!

I’d welcome any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Jeff



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Thursday, August 23, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Bathwater and the Baby

Sent in by KW

In all senses of the word, I am a "Christian". (Yipes!)

I am a respected man in my church, I have a thriving buisness, I have a wonderful "Christian" family.

But I don't like what being a Christian has become. So I have a bit of empathy for your site. I find it interesting and insightful.

I think you all are a bit angry, but you have a right to be. Somewhere along the line, you became bitter and agnostic because these "Christians" continue to do the things that pissed you off in the first place. Well, they piss me off too. But human nature is what it is.

There is a huge gulf between Christianity (as we know it), and having a personal connection with the Main Man. That's a personal issue.

But there IS something to it, and I think it would be unwise to completely throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Onward Atheist Soldiers?

A letter from Glenn B

Religion and her twin sister, mass self-righteousness, have been the stated cause of every war man has ever fought. It's the cause of most of the hate, bigotry and hypocrisy in the world today and always has been.

The prisons are full of Christians and Muslims. Then they have the nerve to say that it's us, the atheists, who are being mislead and are bad people.

Atheists don't brainwash their kids into thinking that they're better than everybody who doesn't believe what they do. Or that you can go out and rape, torture, murder and steal all you want, as long as it's in the name of some invisible guy in the sky who's never saved anyone.

Atheists don't pull that cowardly old "I was in the grips of Satan and am not responsible for the terrible things I've done" crap. Sorry to spoil any atheist bashing, but we don't believe in Satan, so of course we don't worship him. Technically, you have to be a Christian to worship Satan, because you have to believe in one to worship the other.

Christians and Muslims alike have a long bloody history, and they're showing no sign of changing that path. I've never heard of a song called "Onward Atheist Soldiers." Actually I've never seen a group of people more misinformed about their own religion than Christians. About 30 years of studying religions, beginning with Christianity, then other modern religions, then going back chronologically through the history of various ancient religions, I discovered that the further back you go, the narrower the field of study becomes. Then you realize that they've all got common roots deep in antiquity. Well, that and they're all bullshit.

No religion follows any logic. Anyone who believes in ANY religion has been brainwashed, and most likely by the people who claim to love them the most.

I've also found most atheists to be, on the average, higher in intelligence, far more aware of what's really going on in the world around them and better equipped, (less baggage?) to deal with it. And if you really dig hard enough, you'll find that a vast majority of history's best minds were inhabited by atheists. There have always been people, especially high-profile public figures, who've feigned Christianity to avoid the hassle, which sometimes included imprisonment or death.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Should I go with the flow?

Sent in by Deborah K

My mother is 80 years old, a retired missionary to Africa! I have recently discovered that Christianity in it's fundamental, evangelical form is certainly not for me. My siblings are current foreign missionaries. I know it will break my mother's heart to hear of my change so I am keeping it to myself and just nodding in agreement to her crazy remarks.

I know the subject will surface soon and I will have to confess to my new thoughts, and I was wondering if anyone else has been through this to give me some encouragement or advice. I mean a very real, true ultra conservative, evangelical environment. I don't want to bring her "shame" that's why I fell it is important just to go with the flow until one day I'm found out.

Thanks

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Atheist meetup in Brisbane

From Martin R

Hi,

I run an atheist group in Brisbane Australia which meets once a month.

If possible pls pass this information onto your members who may be interested in joining us for these meetings.

Details at the website: http://atheists.meetup.com/501/

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