Sunday, December 13, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Religious Tattoos (don't ever get them)

by J.D. Killarney

I began collecting tattoos when I was sixteen. It would have been sooner, but in Virginia one must be at least sixteen with parental permission. I was raised a Christian, and from the ages of about 16-18 I was very Jesus-centric.

During that time I got several tattoos reflecting as much, including: a cross, a lion of Judah, a very pretty and detailed portrait of Jesus on the side of my neck, and last but not least, 'Jesus Saves' on the back of my hands.

That was over two years ago and in that time I have used my intellect and rationality to face facts and dismiss the bible as a fallacy. I am now an Atheist.

Unfortunately, my tattoos don't know that. I still have elderly cashiers noticing my hands and smiling warmly say things like 'well God bless you' or 'can't nobody complain about THOSE tattoos!'

The moral of the story is: listen to your Grandma, your religious views really may change some day. And having visible tattoos really DOES decrease your opportunities of employment.

If anyone has any advice on secular cover-ups, I'd love to hear them.


Saturday, November 28, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

“God Hates You, Hate Him Back!”

Says Controversial Author in A New Book That Pokes Fun At The Holy Scriptures

With people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens leading the way, more and more books discrediting the idea that a single sentient being created everything around us are being devoured by atheists tired of being labeled as un-godly and silenced legally, socially and culturally by the prevalent creationist systems lying behind the world’s most powerful (and arguably most violent) governments.

The problem with all these books, as the author sees it, is these books are brilliant if you have mind for science, and/or a genuine interest in theology, but for a majority of people they are cumbersome to read. While making them popular with the intellectual elite, they are for your average literary hobbyist, complex, and far from entertaining.

CJ Werleman, Australian-born author of “God Hates You, Hate Him Back” says, “I believe people learn more when they find reading a pleasure, and with an entire genre of anti-religious texts sprouting up all over the place, I hadn’t come across any title that just laid out the entire Bible in a manner that for me was pleasurable. And the scriptures of the Bible are wonderful stories that are just begging to be told with a giggle.”

CJ, who witnessed first-hand the religiously motivated terrorist atrocities in Bali in 2005, continues, “The objective of the book is to provide the reader with a thorough understanding of the Bible, from end-t0-end, while also demonstrating that the ‘God’ people worship so readily and unquestioningly is a vengeful bully, with a monopoly on evil. Which I guess is primarily why the Devil had no reason to publish his own book.”

CJ hopes that his approach of using the source of the creationists’ belief-system to make a compelling argument against worshipping such a malevolent patriarch can bridge the gap between superstitious belief and rational understanding by at least shaking believers out of their hypnotized state of relying on “faith over logic”.

Many critics of atheism claim that the fanatical fervor displayed by Dawkins and his ilk, betrays their cause. Similarly CJ believes labeling believers as infantile or moronic is counter-productive in leading religious folk to rationality, and ultimately secularism.

“The best device we have for secularism or atheism is the Bible itself. When you have all the Biblical assertions laid out in front of you, it is almost impossible to continue holding onto the beliefs created by a tribe of nomadic goat herders, who believed the shovel to be emergent technology!”

CJ adds, “Essentially this book demystifies The Bible by using plain speak and humor. I show the reader what it is that pleases God invariably baby killing, and ethnic cleansing. While also demonstrating that not only was Jesus an overtly racist false prophet, and not very nice to his mother, his biography was crudely hammered together by people who never met him.”

When asked what he hoped to achieve with his book, CJ quipped, “I hope my book provides one small stepping stone on humanity’s journey away from ancient beliefs that retard social progress and promote human conflict rather than solidarity.”

Monday, November 16, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

How many congregations on its knees does it take to...

Sent in by Lisa

Cookies and breadImage by star5112 via Flickr

Yesterday, one of my daughter's friends had a terrible accident. Her husband called my daughter from the hospital. And here's what happened then:

My daughter and her husband called another friend to go pick up the couple's baby from the hospital. My daughter took off to a town about an hour away to pick up her friend's mother from the airport. Her husband went to be with the friend's husband at the hospital.

Today, my daughter made cookies and nut bread to take to the hospital for those who would be staying with the friend, then she and another friend took the young woman's nephews and baby to the park and then to her house so the adult family members could stay at the hospital without worrying about the kids.

This evening, she and the other friend are making lasagna and several other freezable meals to take to the family so that when they come home to rest, they will not have to worry about food. Her husband has been providing taxi service all day to and from the hospital for family member who flew in.

All these young people who are helping out this family are atheists.

My question to the Christians lurking on this site (especially those who say good works are not necessary, only true belief is necessary to be good Christians): if you or a family member were in an accident and in intensive care, how many congregations on their knees praying for you would it take to equal a few good people doing some practical things to help your family make it through the day?

Sunday, October 18, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

How do we undo the brainwashing?

A letter from Emma

Eurochocolate chicImage by jenschmen via Flickr

My sister became a Baptist in the UK four years ago. From being happy and smug for herself and her husband (whom she followed down this path), she has become paranoid about the Devil in the world and desperate to convert me and others she loves. She believes every word in the Bible is true and the Word of God - an indication to me that those that are teaching her are insane. I know many lifelong and good Christians who recognise the Bible as being man-made, mistranslated, having tenuous links to Christ's true message etc., etc., yet maintain their love of Christ and God and live according to Christ's word.

My questions are:

Do I try to show her the error of her ways? (So far a waste of time. She doesn't listen, only thinks up Bible-speak counterarguments and resorts to the old retort: "That's the Devil speaking in you").

Or, do I try to ignore it and seek the old personality of my sister that still in there somewhere? She was loving and happy-go-lucky. Now she is arrogant, self-satisfied, bigoted and hateful.

She's really put her brain on hold to see how far she can suspend her sense of disbelief. One little step towards believing Christ is the Son of God has led to the giant leap of believing (no, sorry: "KNOWING") that just because she believes in this thing, it doesn't matter what she DOES in life -- she will still be saved and live happily ever after with Christ when the rest of humanity, who doesn't think exactly like her, will perish.

There is no talk of Love in their beliefs, only about being Right.

Will she be devastated when/if she finally sees how STUPID she's been??

Does anyone else out there know what I'm going through?

Thanks, please help.


Thursday, October 08, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

A question to Christians

A letter from Lock

jehovah-image_by_PvasiliadisImage by ideacreamanuelaPps via Flickr

My question is for christians who visit this site. I myself am an ex-believer and I've posted comments on here in the past as anonymous.

My question is "How can christians possibly explain the contradiction between the character of God in the Old Testament and the character of God that Jesus teaches in the New Testament?

The Old Testament makes God out to be extremely vengeful, wrathful, and apparently hardens people's hearts so they won't repent. He even allows Moses to command the Israelite men to kill all the Midianite men, boys, and women who were not virgins, and sanctions the men to keep the young virgin girls for themselves.

Jesus describes God as all loving and merciful. The New Testament says there is no partiality with God... ect... ect... How do christians reconcile this?

When I was a believer, I was always taught that in the Old Testament it was the time before mercy, and that is why God's judgment presided over us rather then His mercy. The New Testament was based on the fact Christ changed things by bringing in the time of mercy.

Lol....thats a crock! Anyone who knows their Bible knows that God chose to forgive David for committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband murdered. God also sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them cause He chose to have mercy on that city!

Yet, all through Old Testament, God chooses to be horribly wrathful on people for the stupidest things -- sometimes for nothing.

Can any Christians explain this to me?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Call for stories

A letter from Tina Dupuy

Hello! I was referred to you by Troy Conrad AKA Comedy Jesus.

I'm an investigative journalist and I'm working on a project about the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980's.

I'm are looking for stories about people accused of devil worship by listening to the heavy metal genre of music in the 1980's. Did your mom take away your Faith No More records? Were you sent off to bible camp or a mental hospital? Did the hysteria over satanic cults impact your teenage years?

I want hoping to contact any of your members who have experiences they'd like to share with me. Also if there is any other resources you can think of - I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Note: Anyone with stories they'd like to share should send the stories and their contact information by clicking here. The stories and contact information will be forwarded to Ms. Dupuy.

Saturday, October 03, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Modern Christian Miracles?

A letter from Jari in Finland:

I searched some skeptical/ex-Christian sites and wanted to ask my question to someone who possible may have some ideas of the things I am gonna ask and maybe provide some helpful information.

I am myself agnostic at the moment. Was believer in past, but really started doubts some things in Christian faith. So much confusion and wrong prophecies, much fear instead spreading love and courage to peoples life.

Since I lost my faith I have read much skeptical material from the net and from books too.

My question to you is this: Have you or do you know if there is any study made about the current Christian miracle claims? I mean basically those extreme Charismatic meetings which report jewels materializing from thin air, instant weight loss, angel feathers from thin air, oils pouring from hands and gold/sapphire dust from bodies.

Basically I first heard of those claims from my Christian friend, who watching Sid Roth "Supernatural" programs on Christian TV.

There have been in guests on the programs like Patricia King, Joshua Mills and David Herzog who shows those miracles in their meetings.

On YouTube there are many videos claiming and showing those kind of strange manifestations, like different kinds of things appearing from thin air.

I am a bit worried myself about my current Christian friends who are watching those and believing them at face value.

What I have myself read from the Net, there are some guys who have been caught in some frauds, but there are much more of these phenomenon that seem to be coming from ordinary and seemingly decent people.

So basically I'd just be thankful for any advice, book or article recommendations.

Monday, September 28, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Questions I asked of Sunday School Teachers

A letter from Mikel

ben & melinda - sunday school.Image by bhardy via Flickr

I was thinking back on times I had questioned a religious teacher, and thought up a short list of questions I asked. I asked all of these perfectly sincerely, maybe a bit naively. Anyone is welcome to try answering--most of the time I was just given "that look" as if I was just trying to disrupt the lesson, or was told that "that's just what we believe."

I should also point out that none of these thing stands out as "the one thing" that caused to to leave Christianity. They are just little things that got my skeptical juices flowing.

Why should I expect to apply a Biblical passage to my life, if it's history, poetry, or prophecy? (Asked when a Sunday School teacher wanted the class to write down what how passage or other applies to our lives.)

Isn't claiming 'promises' from Psalms pulling those quotes out of context?
How do you know your beliefs are true, when there are lots of sincere followers of other religions out there who are equally convinced that you are wrong?
Why do you equate skepticism with cynicism? Skepticism is not wanting to believe without proof, and cynicism is more like unthinking rejection? (Not the exact words--at the time was was not too sure what cynicism was except that it was associated with negativity.)

And here is one that I have not asked, but would be curious to know an answer for.

If you believe that a person will not be judged harshly by God for sincere and honest disbelief, or mistaken belief in the wrong thing:

Why have Christian missionaries? If humanitarian aid is needed in some places, why not send humanitarian aid though non-sectarian charities such as Doctors Without Borders instead?

Does your church teach that it is not really so necessary and urgent for people to convert to Christianity in order to be accepted by God? Is that what is taught to the kids in your Sunday School?

Why should it matter to me what your personal beliefs are if they don't match what your church and Christian leaders are teaching?

Like I said, anyone is welcome to volunteer answers or make comments.

Saturday, September 12, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Greiving my death

A letter from Gee Will

Angel of GriefImage via Wikipedia

Last weekend my wife and I sent out e-mails to notify our family members that we aren't going back to church and are actually not christians any more.

All four parents and four siblings and each of their spouses are all committed evangelical christians - one brother is a pastor. None of them live anywhere close to us. We had talked directly to my wife's parents, and they took it very well - they are actually almost supportive. I talked with my younger sister on the phone when she called to talk about the elephant in the room.

So, we got calm but questioning responses from my wife's brother and sister, with reassurance that a change in beliefs wouldn't change their love for us.

But, I just got a response from my Mom, and as I expected, she is pretty much grieving my death. Though I'm not surprised, I'm still devastated that she is so hurt.

I don't need a bunch of condolences or anything... just writing therapeutically.

GW



What do you say when someone says, "I am praying for you?"

A letter from Lisa

Pale MoonImage by zedzap via Flickr

My daughter went to the gynecologist the other day for a sonogram (12 weeks) and the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. I went to my daughter and son-in-law's town to take care of the baby they are adopting while they went to the hospital for the procedure.

Just got home.

People were telling both them and me, "I am praying for you." "It was god's will." "It was meant to be." . . .

None of us believe that god killed that potential (and very much wanted) child. And we don't believe "it was meant to be" for her to go through that whole in-vitro process twice in two years to end up with two dead babies before they ever got a chance to become babies.

When they say they are praying, I say thank you. They mean well.

But "meant to be" and "god's will" make me mad. Oh, and "God needed another little angel up in heaven," was lucky she was on the other end of the phone.

This is a real question. What do you say?

Thursday, September 03, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Finding my moral compass

A letter from Ian

Using compass (second stage, target)Image via Wikipedia

I am a fully convinced ex-Christian, and have been for a couple of years. Before my de-conversion I was from a fundamentalist evangelical background and had lived in it all of my life. Whilst life is much better with a free mind I do have some challenges and difficulties resulting from my journey out of religion.

I suppose it is the matter of a "moral compass" that I am not sure I can trust- or perhaps one that I have never learned to use.

I have known morality as a set of rules imposed- instead of feeling equipped to make good moral judgments as I work through life. This was all very well when I wholly accepted the regime in which I lived, and I had no real choices because everything was simple and proscribed for me.

Now I feel weighed down by the burden of having to work things out- and more to the point I feel I keep making bad decisions. My Christian friends see this as my natural moral decline after losing my relationship with "the Lord". I see it as a result of being cast suddenly into a moral universe where I am truly responsible, without ever learning the skills to navigate it properly.

Is this just me? Any thoughts and or encouragements? Does it get easier?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Celebration of Life or Propaganda Tool?

A letter from Dave

A sunset from a beach in :en:HonoluluImage via Wikipedia

I recently attended the celebration of life ceremony of my best friend, who recently died from a bacterial infection while camping in Hawaii.

I spent many years of my life discussing the deep questions with my friend, and both of us left the church together. His family did not take it the same way as my family. Both of his parents and other siblings constantly chided him and urged him to return to the fold.

My friend refused to see the world in such morally black and white terms that Christianity presented to him. When he died, his family wanted so badly to believe that he would be in heaven with them, that they began saying he had went back to Christ days before his death.

The family decided to hold a celebration of life ceremony at their long-time church. What started out as a celebration of stories and memories turned into the pastor explaining that our dear friend had returned back to Christ and that others should follow him. The pastor explained our friends struggle with faith in Christ, but said that he (our friend) eventually discovered he was wrong and decided to embrace the truth of Christ.

Having spent the last weekend with him, and hearing him discuss his lack of faith, made me angry to see this pastor turn the philosophy of a good friend into a propaganda tool for those attending the ceremony; who came to simply celebrate the life of another.

In the end, my friend's life and world view was wrongfully twisted to uphold something, he never believed in. I am not sure if I should contact the pastor to let him know how I felt by his actions, or just let it be my friend's family's final say.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

deluded

A letter from DS, "The voice of one crying in the..."

Evolution quote on Starbucks cupImage by Colin Purrington via Flickr

this is what happens when faux christians have a little bit of knowledge of the truth, but not enough to defend themselves against the onslaught of the lies of Satan. For example, it is a scientific fact that the theory of evolution is scientifically IMPOSSIBLE, according to all of the LAWS of SCIENCE, but most faux christians heve never learned this so the bald-faced, idiotic, asinine and absurd lie of evolution lingers around in their heads as a means to destroy the truth of God's Word... Genesis.

I am writing a book about the truth where I expose all of the lies of Satan that keep people from coming to the knowledge of the truth, or steal the truth away from under-educated, ill-equipped christians. If anyone is interested, then e-mail me. The confusion and illogic of your site and the people that agree with you is staggering, but easily refuted. If you seek the truth you will find it. Thus far, you have not sought it, so you have settled for the horseshit of the father of lies, B-L-Z-BUB.

Good "luck"

DS

Wednesday, August 19, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Jesus and Facebook ruined my life

A letter from J Marco, Lord of the Medeci

Church 2.0Image by ian murchison via Flickr

I'm not sure if things have heated up around me lately, or if I am just more sensitive to it.The last several months it seems like Christianity in my area (deep South, US) has gotten much more aggressive, and more militant. It is everywhere. It's not that "can I tell you about Jesus" type; no, it's that "we have to turn this nation back to God before he rains brimstone on us type". It's that "we have to fight against sin" type. It's that really scary unhinged junk I grew up in. It's really had me gritting my teeth.

This website has been a godsend for me (minus the god, of course). It sounds silly, but I didn't know deconverting was an option until I started reading about how other people did it. It is also good to know your not the only exchristian in the world.

Well, not too long ago I got mixed up with Facebook thanks to a sibling, and before you know it I'm connected to other family members. I had listed a few favorite atheistic quotes on my profile, became a fan of this site, played around with Flair and found a few anti-religious buttons I liked, did a few reviews of some of my favorite books, nothing major. It was kind of nice to be able to put my views up, maybe because it offset the frustrations I felt over the pervasive displays of the particularly ugly strain of Christianity I am surrounded with.

Today my happy little cyber-world came crashing down around me. It is no longer a refuge. A family member fired off an irate message to me about my beliefs, which offended her.

There have been a couple of incidents over the past several years, one where she tried to tell me my mental illness was demon attacks, another where she made a brief attempt to witness to me. I explained to her how harmful Christianity had been for me, and how I was now an atheist, and I would never get mixed up with religion again. Since then, we have pretty much avoided the topic of religion, sort of an uneasy truce.

Well, the message she sent to me had me bouncing off walls. Oddly enough, I was afraid. I wasn't afraid of her; it was a purely Pavlovian response. Even though I can plainly see the Bible for what it is, and have no fear of any god, the fear that was drummed into me for the first 15 years of my life came back with a fury.

It was not a pleasant experience. Interesting to ponder once it was over with, but not pleasant.


Looking for help

A letter from Mark


A modern Western worship team leading a contem...Image via Wikipedia

This website has been great. I really get a kick out of the stories I read on this site and the great insight that you guys have. As a matter of fact, I can relate to many of your experiences in the church. On that note, let me share mine. And before I do that, I must say that my story is a little more difficult and more complicated than yours and hopefully I can get some help from you guys to finally be truly free at last from the depressing mess the church life has provided for me. So here goes:

Well for me, let me start by saying that I was raised in a catholic background. We did not practice it on a steady basis or go to church religiously or anything like that, but I did receive my sacraments like baptism as a baby, communion, penance, confirmation, etc....

And growing up in the catholic religion, I always believed in god and always felt close to god. When I was in a crisis as a kid I always prayed to god. I would make the sign of the cross and I always believed god was with me.

For the most part, I had a good childhood. I was an only child and my mom and dad (though were not perfect) were good parents and good role models.

However, one of the struggles I had as a teenager was loneliness. Though I was very social, I was also very nasty and burnt bridges with many of my friends leaving me with no one to hang out with sometimes. Many times during the summer months, if I was not visiting family, I was home alone most of the day with nothing to do. Even in school, I had some friends, but no one who I hung out with on a steady basis!

But there was one friend of mine who welcomed me in and was someone I felt comfortable around. He was 11 years older than me (when I was 16 he was 27). He was also married and had a couple of young children who I used to babysit and spend time with.

I guess I was kind of naïve to his game at the time cause though he was welcoming and friendly, he was a born again Christian. He constantly insisted we pray whenever we did something (like eat, go jogging, watch a show on TV, etc…). On Sunday’s he and his family would go to church, and I kind of wanted to go (because I was lonely), but I did not (afterall I knew I was a catholic and to be honest I didn’t even know there was a difference).

Well anyways, eventually I went to evangelical Christian church with him and his family in late 1993 / early 1994 and kind of started going consistently to church after that. And since I was a catholic who always believed in god, I always figured I was going to heaven anyway! I say this because when I was a child my mom always told me just do good and you will go to heaven and be with god!

It took a couple of months (about 4-6) when I actually realized that the bible has lots of ambiguity in it and people debate it. You see, growing up I always thought the bible was the word of god and that was that (how naïve I was!!! WOW). I had no idea of holy wars, etc….

It was then that I was told that good works don’t get you into heaven, but you must love Jesus and submit to him. This definitely made me feel uneasy, but since I was going to church anyway, I kind of just went with it!

But through the first couple of years in my church experience at the evangelical church was the fact that I noticed the people at Christian church actually worship god. They don’t just “go to church” like they do at catholic church, but they live for God! They read the bible, they pray, they sing worship music. But this made me feel guilty because, I didn’t have that desire to worship god like they did, and I thought in order for me to know that I am saved, I have to do all of those things! But I kept pressing because it made sense to me since I always prayed to god anyway, even when I was a boy going to catholic church.

Anyways, fast forward to summer 1997, I was a college student home for the summer and still lonely most of the time. It was at that point I reached out to another Christian friend of mine (one my age) to pray for me because I was feeling lonely and inadequate. Me and him started to do a bible study together and I started to develop a love for Christ as a result before I left for college that fall.

Well when I left for college that fall, the first couple of weeks were troubling for me. I had roommates I was not crazy about. But I started to go to a local Pentecostal church in the town.

Eventually that church suggested I go to this college worship conference where I would meet other Christian college students. I did that and I had a great time. But it was here where I REALLY got exposed to all the speaking in tongues, etc…. and I thought this has to be real! I left that conference praising god and I was ready to roll! I was excited about god and started reading my bible all the time, god was my life!

I started going to church with a real purpose and was excited about being there after that. But what happened was though the novelty of it wore off, the memory of how awesome that conference was, remained and I used that as my motivation to stay on course!

What happened in the months to follow is several of the people in the church began to pray for me and do prophecies over me. I was baptized in the holy spirit and started to speaking in tongues.

It was a little overwhelming for me I guess in some ways, but I was fascinated by the supernatural things. It kind of confirmed my belief in god. I mean I remember when I was a boy always being fascinated by things like magic, etc….

The church I went to in college had a pastor who was constantly talking about reaching the lost and the elder always prayed in tongues and focused more on demon fighting and rebuking the devil than he did on praising god, I mean he did praise god too, but more of his time was spent on fighting the devil!

It got to the point that the message became so condemning where the pastor challenged us to do something for the lost, that I decided I was going to start a Christian group on my campus and was going to get people saved!

So the following year, me and a couple of people at my church started a Christian group on campus! This is when I became so anxious. I don’t know what I was thinking. My whole life became that ministry. I became so out of touch with the campus. All I knew was people needed to get saved!

Forget the fact that by October 1998 all those in my classes were having a good time, laughing and being themselves, while I was lonely and miserable trying to figure out how they can ever get saved, since after all, they were having all the fun, while I was depressed and living in denial about it! Deep down I was wishing I could have had the fun. It got to the point where I wanted to leave the faith then, but I kept thinking about my experience at the conference the year before.

During that time span, I was exposed to large amounts of “spiritual warfare,” prophecies and supernatural occurrences!

I still remember two instances. One was on Oct. 17, 1998 when I was at a Saturday night youth church service when I was depressed to the point I thought I was having some kind of heart attack! And I was on my way out of the service and I told the elder’s wife that I was going to take myself to the ER cause I was having a heart attack! The elder, who was preaching the sermon stopped and asked me if I was ok? And I told him I am going to the ER cause I am having a heart attack. He said, “ok we’ll pray for you!” Then he had all who were at the service to come and lay hands on me, and the elder started praying, “great and mighty are you lord.” Then as soon as he started saying that my body started to shake out of control. What happened next is the elder and a few of the other college age students when downstairs with me to do deliverance! I can honestly tell you, there was a manifestation! Loud screams came out of my mouth, like demons were leaving me! It’s terrifying thinking about it now!

Then a week later during a worship service for the youth we were rebuking spirits, and my entire body stiffend up and I could not move! From the shoulders down, I could not walk or move my hands or anything! Still to this day one of the scariest moments of my life! Eventually, the elder of the church came to my aid and told the spirit to “go down!”

Anyways, time went on and I kind of lived each day as it came. Then in Jan. 1999 a prophet visited the church. He prophesied over me. What was amazing about him is he talked about who I am and I can honestly say, he was pretty accurate. He knew my business.

Eventually, by the summer of 1999, I came to the realization that my life sucked. I saw that there has got to be more to life than just church and stupid rules. I also had difficulty making sense of the bible and old testament stories of dudes living to 800 years old, so I left the faith and started to live free again. Not only that, but some of those stories were depressing me anyway!

Anyways, I transferred colleges and when I got to the new college, I was living freely. I was so happy and loose, it felt great! It was amazing. I reconnected with friends I didn’t speak to for a long time because I didn’t want to speak to them cause I was a Christian and was insecure! Man, I can honestly say it was very liberating, I was free!

But about two months later, the wheels started to come off. I had been involved with a woman I met on the internet and she was crazy, literally! What happened was she basically took me for all I had. When it was all said and done, it left me depressed. And so I asked myself the question, is god and the devil working in cahoots? Is this punishment for leaving the faith? So basically for the next couple of years (on and off) I had depression. I felt like I was going to be condemned to hell after I die because I left the faith. I felt so guilty. But I also remembered the Christian life I had and I wanted no part of that again. So I walked around most of the time thinking about this guilt and condemned feeling!

I had gone to church a few times here and there out of fear, but nothing ever came of it. I went back for a while to a Baptist church in 2003, I felt ok there, but ended up not staying!

Finally in 2004 I had a scary moment over a personal situation where I prayed hard to god to get through. I did pull through and went back to church and re-committed my life to Jesus in 2004.

I went back to the evangelical church and stayed there for the most part from late 2004 until 2006! I was living for god again! It was not so bad this time. I didn’t take anything too serious this time, it was actually a pretty good experience.

I eventually got a little bitter at the people and left and went to another Baptist church in Jan. 2007 and was there for about six months. That was also a nice church. The pastor was nice and I felt welcomed there. I eventually left because I was a little too busy, and still did not quite feel right.

Since the summer of 2007, life had been pretty good up until now. I didn’t think much about religion and when I did, it was not in a bitter way! I was free and at peace with myself most of the time.

2008 was a very good year for me. I lost a lot of weight and got into excellent shape. I really found peace with myself and was content! Even in the beginning of 2009 I was happy!

But recently I have come upon hard times and the reason for this post!

Back in June, I came to the realization that I have a great life. Me being the nice and grateful guy I am (guilty too), I decided to give god another try (I had been wanting to anyway). Hence I gave myself a fresh start at another church. I chalked up my previous experiences as just me believing false doctrine and taking things too literal. As I matured as a person, I started to understand that some of what Jesus talked about was for our own good (some of it anyway).

Anyways, I joined a bible study group with a book to read as we go along. The first few chapters were ok, but the 4th chapter had some things that did not sit well with me and made me feel like shit. But I went along anyway!

Anyways, something happened where I told a friend something (unrelated to Christianity) that almost ruined my friendship!

After I did this, I asked myself, would I have done that if I was not a fundamentalist Christian? And my answer was no! So I got pissed and suddenly I was depressed. I spoke to my friend and I was forgiven for the most part, but I could not get over it!

Then a couple of days later I read a book by a Christian author that said this life is just practice for the next one! When I read that, I asked myself, “what if it’s a hoax?” What if when we die there is nothing? This made me more depressed knowing I am giving up the only life I truly know of!

Anyways, the next night when getting undressed I don’t know if this was my imagination or something real, but I saw the face of Jesus, he looked at me and rolled his eyes, then turned away. Then I saw the face of a demon appear. Then moments later I saw a man on a road and suddenly there was an earthquake and the road was shattered except where the man was standing. This man was basically hung out to dry with not even enough room to lay down! Very very terrifying!

Anyways, basically I am asking what you guys think? I have been very depressed suddenly. It’s hard for me to truly walk away as recently I remembered those manifestations from the late 90’s! Believe me, this stuff was stuff I witnessed and was a part of! I am not sure what to make of it! Has anyone had a similar experience? If so, how have you coped with it?

I am very interested in learning more as I try to make sense of what’s been going on lately! Some kind of conclusion would help me but this to rest so I can move on with life. Thanks everyone!

Friday, August 14, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Bewildered

A letter from deathbyluxury

Losing My ReligionImage by Cayusa via Flickr

I’d like to start out by saying that I enjoy this community. I find it reassuring that there are other people like me who have grown tired of defying their own common sense with Christianity, and have decided to pursue something more logical (whether unto themselves or otherwise).

I, personally, have found myself to be in the ballpark de facto atheism (according to the spectrum Dawkins explained in “The God Delusion”), and this letter is aimed specifically at people of similar views. The path which led me here was a quick and brutal one. It started about two years ago, when a former coworker (who is an atheist) began inspiring me to challenge my beliefs. Despite the fact that I was beginning to doubt the existence of a supreme deity, I found myself holding desperately fast to the solace which I found in Christianity. While my belief in the supernatural decreased, my instinct to hold on to it increased. This created a feeling which is very difficult to explain, and I will not waste time attempting to describe it here (although given the nature of this website, I’m sure there are people who may understand what I’m talking about). The process continued until I reached a breaking point, and where I stand right now is the direct aftermath.

This leaves me feeling bewildered. I’d held on to God for so long, that I sometimes feel what it must feel like to be a heroin addict on his first day of sobriety. I have this overwhelming desire to say “I’ve fallen, Lord. Wrap your arms around me!” But I can’t get over the fact that those words would reach no further than my four walls. I’ve had a lot of problems in the past with depression, and God was my placebo cure. But now, I feel like escaping; losing myself in philosophy and art, music, sleeping, etc, to “quell the demons”, as they say.

I feel lost. And when I’d found this website, I had read “Encouraging Ex-Christians”, and had interpreted that as being kind of a support group. No doubt, it’s a great place for people to voice their “anti-testimonies”, opinions, and philosophies, etc. But what I had expected to find was a sort of rehabilitation for apostates. Perhaps I have not been thorough enough in browsing this website, but I have not yet found any good tips and tricks for the aspiring or newborn unbeliever to keep from going insane. I know not everyone experiences this rough a transition, but I think it’s natural to want some good advice for dealing with the post-religious heebie-jeebies.

Now, I am looking for words of wisdom. Books, movies, philosophy, anything some of you may have found enlightening or inspiring in your early years as atheists. I’ve been diving into works from the likes of Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Christopher Hitchens and others, but this only seems to fill the intellectual void.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, August 08, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

I need a good laugh

A letter from Evelyn

Dear jesus...Image by miss karen via Flickr

Does anyone have an amusing story? Something funny? lighthearted? Fun? Interesting facts about the brain, universe, etc...

I just need a good laugh.

Is there anything you did while being a Christian that you can laugh at now?

What talents and abilities did you discover after leaving religion?

How did it help you?

Sunday, August 02, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Atheists are intolerant

A letter from Lemsip

I do not support christians whatever they do but to label them all as the same and bring them all down to the lowest common denominator sucks. This is what the fundies do to non christians. You do the same to christians and some are quite lovely people.

I am an ex christian but am ashamed to call myself an atheist judging by how some of the atheists decided to gang up on me and call me names. I don't think many of them are ex christians. They've decided as soon as they could that religion wasn't for them before giving it a chance and to go further by blaming all society's ills on them just like Emperor Nero. To them christians are handy scapegoats that they can look down upon and project their weaknesses onto.

Quite frankly this website sucks. It's getting very boring. Somebody makes a post and there are comments with platititudes and parrotted repitition. No one is allowed to differ on any point.

I would like to inform you that this morning the BBC broadcasted a discussion programme and one of the topics up for discussion was 'are atheists intolerant' and many people on the panel came to the conclusion that they were. The timing was superb. Yes they are as intolerant as fundamentalist christians. One poor girl was repeatedly told by any atheists she met that she was soft minded and that she didn't think for herself. Do atheists think for themselves? Like religious people they have picked a philosophy that has been around for centuries.

It's religious intolerance I support and fundamentalism of any kind be it Christianity, Islam or Atheism that I oppose vehemently.

Following on I would like to add that christianity didn't work for me after a while though I am grateful for those first few years' when I made new friends with kind people and was invited to people's homes to experience family life. In church I had learnt to sing in a choir and to go door knocking a skill I was able to use in market research. It had run it's course and I wasn't able to see it. A counsellor once told me this but added that had I not become a christian I would have gone off the rails. I can agree with this as the only friends I had at the time were either christians or alcoholics. There are benefits as well as dangers in the christian faith.

It's a pity that this website is full of cyber bullies who cannot tolerate any difference. This is something I didn't find on the Walkaway forum. I come from a different country where the culture of christianity is very much different. I do not leave in the Deep South of the USA where one has to be strongly conservative christian or libertarian atheist and fit into one or the other camp. There are room for shades of grey where I live as people have much more intelligence. As Michael Moore once said in his documentary film 'Bowling for Columbine' "the thickest person in the UK has far more intelligence than the average American college student". There is a grain of truth in this especially considering those from the Deep South or Hill Billy country.

The pain I found in christianity was in being trained to be servile, submissive and 'turning the other cheek'. This made it difficult to engage with people in the secular world as I became a soft target who didn't fight back and cried instead. I took classes in assertiveness and started standing up for myself and earning more respect in the process. However I found myself more and more ostracised in church because I was no longer a soft target there. But who do you blame? The people who set you up to be a patsy or those who take advantage. Both factions, I've come to the conclusion.

I have no room in my life for patronising christians who try to 'protect' me from fun and personal growth. Nor do I have any room for agressive hedonistic atheists who criticise christians and anybody with a moral code for being soft minded, who urge them to 'think for themselves' and 'make their own decisions' which really means 'think as I do and do as I do'.

I'm now longer going to sit and remain silent when atheists proclaim that only christians commit crime any more than when christians proclaim that all atheists lead sad empty lives and the decline in church going has led to an increase in crime.

Monday, July 27, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Your website is devilish

Saint Wolfgang and the Devil by Michael Pacher).Image via Wikipedia

A letter from jahsgirl

Your website is devilish, u don't know how much damage u are doing to yourself and others. I can't believe that u disrespect the God who created u and gives u the air to breathe every single second of your life. Hopefully u can ask for mercy soon before its too too too late. I will repent if I where you. Man I will sure pray for you; you need it.

Friday, July 24, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Dealing with Family Rejection

A letter from Robin

Pride07 - 20Image by LaMenta3 via Flickr

I'm new on this website and have been lurking around a bit. I generally like the civility here. It feels like a caring and loving place, for the most part. Except for the few trolls, who are not even close to as bad as what I've seen... I'm really liking it here. Hell, I even like reading the troll responses... just so I can keep up on all of the insanity ;). It's rare to find this on anonymous forums. Very "Christ-like." I've felt for a long time that I'm a better "Christian" than they are... if we are gaging it by Christ's words... to help the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unfortunate... to love our neighbors as ourselves. Atheists and agnostics are fucking amazing people!!! But we knew that already, didn't we?

I'm gay, 44 and have been in a loving and committed relationship for over 5 years. I'm an agnostic, but a former fundamentalist Christian. My mother, two sisters and their respective families are all fundamentalist christians. They believe that I'm living an immoral lifestyle and am going to hell. They disowned me for 8 years. About 6 years ago my mother and I reconciled. Shortly after that she was diagnosed with cancer and I reconciled with my sisters and their families. I have been as supportive as I can from a distance. I visit every month or two and I've been helping my mother out financially with monthly checks.

I'm looking for a little advice/input from those who have experienced similar situations and how they've dealt with it. I feel like I've been as supportive as I could through all of the rough times I've had with my family, hoping that after they got to know me, they would accept me. I now realize that this will never happen. I have finally let go of that little bit of hope I've been holding on to for 15 years. They will never see me as anything other than misguided and headed for hell.

A month ago, I got into an argument with my mother and then my sister, about politics, and I hung up on both of them. I haven't spoken to them since. My sister left me an angry ranting phone message that I didn't listen to...raging about liberals (my girlfriend listened). We usually don't talk politics, but my mother was probing me about Obama. She thinks he is the precursor to the Antichrist. She defends Limbaugh and Savage (and others) as loving America. I told her that they love America as long as it is white. If it were up to them, every minority and gay person would be rounded up and exterminated, or deported, at the very least. It disgusts me that they align themselves with these men, who are far from "Christian". Hate is not a Christian value, but they are too blind to see that.

The hypocrisy is what drives me crazy. My mother (and siblings) align themselves with people who are diametrically opposed to their lifestyles . My mother lives on SS, Medicare and lives in subsidized housing, all the while collecting $200/month checks from her gay daughter for the past five years, who she believes doesn't deserve any equal rights. I am not rich by any means, I barely have any savings and almost live month-to-month. I wanted to do the "right" thing... what I thought was "right," anyway. In retrospect, I'm not sure they deserve me.

My family has never met my partner and they don't want to. She is not welcome at any family gatherings. They would rather I not talk about her, but I do anyway. They have not visited me in 15 years. I've probably had one phone call from each of them in that same time span. They do not support or accept me and never really have. I get nothing from them. If I go through hard times, it's because I made this choice and brought it on myself. It's God's retribution... meanwhile my brother has been "living in sin" for the past 12 years, but his girlfriend is welcome at family gatherings and he can do no wrong. I guess the gay thing is too much. What is family for anyway?

I have a large extended family of friends, some that I've known for almost 40 years. I have an aunt, her ex-husband, their two sons and their wives who are very supportive of me and my partner. My partner has two kids and two grandkids. Her grandson and I are crazy about one another!! We're all taking a family vacation at the beach together. I just finished visiting with many old friends in Boston and Cape Cod. I'm going to Atlanta over the December holidays to visit with my extended family.

I've had this pall of sadness hanging over my head for the past 15 years. I'm tired of it. My inclination is to no longer have anything to do with them. I don't need them and their judgments of me. I no longer want to be around people who think I'm living an immoral life. I don't need them for anything, nor do i expect anything from them. They do nothing but cause me pain and misery.

As a side-note, for those of you who are anti-marriage, this is one of the biggest reasons I would like to marry my partner... so these wackos have no say in what happens at the end of my life.

I'm conflicted over my mother and how to move forward. Part of me thinks I should call her but the other part of me is completely disgusted with her. I don't know what to say and don't even want to talk to her... but she probably won't live that much longer....

I understand intellectually that they're all brainwashed and that's how I've been treating them. Emotionally, I can't get beyond the hurt...

I've given this my best effort out of love and loyalty, I no longer think any of it is good for me. Are they worth it? What do all of you think?

Warmest regards.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

My thoughts for the day

From Jackie27

cuffed ankles and toesImage via Wikipedia

I have a few thoughts that I want to share with everyone. We've all heard of the term "Freedom in Christ." Basically this means you have all the freedom you want, as long as you stick to the rules. You're not free to ask the difficult questions, not free to doubt, not free to think for your self, not free to do what you want (you should be doing what god wants). It's kind of like being put in jail and being told you have all the freedom you want to roam the grounds, but you don't have real freedom because you can't actually leave the 4 walls of the jail.

There's another Christianese term "Freedom from the bondage of sin." Now that I'm an ex-Christian, I've realised that the only people that are "slaves to sin" are Christians themselves. They are the ones who are constantly asking god for forgiveness for their latest sin, or constantly trying to avoid sin and temptation. If you have unanswered prayer or lack of faith, then it's probably because you have sin in your life. Well we all know that there is no such thing as sin, so aren't we the ones who are truly free from it?

Once you've ditched religion it's truly amazing how much freedom you now have. I can do, feel, think, dream whatever I want now. Nothing is holding me back now, and I am so grateful for it, because I know what it's like not to have real freedom.

My other thought is the concept of being *saved*. Christians say they are saved by grace. But saved from what? Saved from going to hell? (the hell god created and decided that it was a just punishment for simply being human). Saved from sin? In fact Christians are not *saved* from anything. We are the ones who are saved. We have been saved by REASON from the bondage of Christianity. I really feel like I have been truly saved! I feel very lucky that I managed to reason my way out of the insane religion that is Christianity. I shudder to think what the rest of my life would be like if I remained a Christian.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Shackled by guilt

A letter from Carleen

locked and chainedImage by Darwin Bell via Flickr

OK, so I realize that I might be as bad as his parents say that I am. They are just scared that he will be influenced by me away from his fundamental Christian Church. Originally I had no intention of doing anything of the kind, because I believed that no one person can fully understand "God," therefore no one person can be sure that they have the only "truth."

After I had been with him for awhile, he was kicked out of his family's business and told that he should fear God because of his choice to date me -- as I stood there, looking on, silently.

He has been told that by dating me he is is tainting his own and their names. All because (as far as they know) I am a liberal Christian. I was raised in a Methodist church, and that is how I answered the question of my faith when asked the first week of knowing Tim.

Tim and I had many many conversations about religion, and he explained that he did not believe exactly as they do, and that it was OK that I did not believe exactly as they do either. For instance: we have friends that are homosexual; we did normal things; he behaved in a typical manor in social situations; he did not display behavior that he was constantly thinking and living the life that Jesus commanded so as to avoid going to Hell. Now it has all changed. After going to a long dinner alone with his parents (He is 25... old enough I would think... but...), he has decided that he needs to love God more than me, and he agrees with his parents that the Bible clearly states in many places (especially 2 Corinthians 6), that he is not to date a non-believer.

He said that he loves me and that this is the hardest thing that he has had to do. He really thinks that the words in the Bible are the words of God, and he has to do everything he can to try to follow it even though he knows that he is flawed and will be a sinner over and over again. He says he can't date me knowing that the Bible is clear on this topic. However, he still continues to text me and contact me, saying that he misses me and cares about me.

I know he is struggling. I want to help him along his way to see that he does not have to live this way, but not just so that I may have a chance of being with him, but to help free him from the pain of guilt and control that he will probably experience for the rest of his life. His older brother is a great example. He is 35 and has never dated and spends most nights at his parent’s house for dinner.

Anyway, it is Tim's choice to do and be who he wants to be. I think he is shackled by guilt and by his parent’s conditional love. What can I do, what would you recommend if I could get him to read just ONE book?

Thanks,
Carleen



Thursday, June 18, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

A limbo of gloom and navel gazing

By Ray

Introspection reloaded IImage by Tomás Rotger via Flickr

Since posting my testimonial, "Religions are ridiculous" on May 23, 2009, I've noticed a lot of "anguish" on the postings to this website. There seems to be a "trend" to leave Christianity and then take up some other religion or belief. Either that, or going "cold turkey" into the world of atheism. Another alternative (which is no alternative at all) is to sit around in a limbo of gloom and examine our navels. These approaches can be bad for our health, and resolve nothing! Remember that God did not invent religion, people did. Watching and listening to people like Joel Osteen at his Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas should be enough proof of that. I doubt if God needs this kind of quackery.

Again, it is not necessary to give up on a Supreme Creator or Ruler of the Universe. But if you have to, then kick back and relax for a while. Get yourself a good bottle of wine (I suggest a white wine), some gourmet cheese and tasty bread. Then start watching some of your favorite movies and reading some fiction books. Take up cooking, gardening, model railroading, sewing, or some hobby. Whatever you do, don't become a religious addict by joining another church or religion. And don't start reading Christopher Hitchens to convince you that you need to be an atheist or whatever. Give your own brain a chance.

Finally, if you find you just can't stand leaving whatever Christian denomination you belonged to or/and church you attended, then pick another one that seems to have some sort of intelligence connected with it. That's going to be a tough call if you go that route, and only you can do it. However, keep in mind that deciding to join up with Islam or some other religion will not really satisfy your religious addiction. Once you have tasted and experienced Christianity (no matter how ridiculous the denomination), joining up with Judaism or Islam (much less Hinduism or Buddhism) could blow your mind out. These outfits are even more ridiculous.

If you do opt for atheism, then don't sit around and gloat, but join one of those organizations (preferably a non nut case outfit) that actively works to keep religion out of politics and education. It does not take an atheist to realize what damage religion has already done when it gets mixed up with politics or education and so on. On that note, keep in mind that there are a lot of anti-religious organizations out there that are as nutty as some of the religious groups they oppose. Good luck to everyone in their quest to find some sanity in the supermarket of ideas out there.

Friday, June 05, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Loneliness

A letter from "Alone"

LonelinessImage via Wikipedia

Did deconversion create intense loneliness, depression and anxiety for anyone?

I began to have serious doubts about faith 2 years ago. I am desperate to still believe in God like I used to, but I just don't think I can anymore.

When I go to church it feels like I am trying to breathe under water. When I see people praising God I remember what it was like to believe and I wish I could be happy like them, but I just feel that I can't live a lie. I can't just believe again because I feel that I will ALWAYS doubt and it will never go away. I don't think I can handle being like this for much longer.

I just feel so incredibly afraid all the time. Like there's a pit in my stomach ALL THE TIME. I do not know who I am anymore and I feel really empty. When I think about religion my head actually physically hurts. I get terrified when I go to sleep and I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. It really affects my life and I cannot take much more of it. I have asked God to help me, but I just feel like I cannot do it anymore. I have tried to read the bible and go to church, but it does not work. If God says that we should seek and we will find, then why do I still feel this way? I have searched for God more than anyone I know.

I have moved to a new town and I cannot meet anyone here. I am desperately lonely. The people are very different and I struggle to connect with anyone. I have gone to church a few times because I just get so incredibly lonely. I still have Christian friends in other parts of the country and the world and I love them very much because they have supported me through very troubled times. They are worried about me but I just cannot explain to them what I am going through. Not one of my family members understands and my friends just think I am very sad.

I struggle to meet new friends because I am still in between being a Christian and leaving the church. This really hurts because I am a very social person. I really want to meet a woman, but I just feel like I can't. I worry about this because I feel like I can't be with someone who doesn't believe but I also can't be with someone who does! I am really worried that I am going to end up alone because of this.

Has anyone felt like this? I just need to know that it gets better because I just don't know if I can make it.

Thanks.

Friday, May 29, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Material Needed for a Book

A letter from Trent

Although I still hold to a belief in Christ, I definitely relate to the experiences described by the contributors to this site. I went through Bible College and received a master's degree in seminary before I started to realize the carnage Christianity has left in it's rear view mirror. I am writing a book in hopes of shedding light on these detestable practices and would love to include some of your real life experiences.

I don't honestly know if it's a conflict of interest to for ex-Christians to help a fed-up Christian write a book scolding most Christians but figured it's worth a shot :) !!! If you would be game to help, please send me your experiences at trenttc11 AT gmail DOT com

Thanks

Thursday, May 14, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Religious Disenchantment Narratives and the Arts

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard D...Image via Wikipedia

My name is Philip Francis, a doctoral student at Harvard Divinity School, writing a dissertation on religious disenchantment narratives and the arts. I am posting here to see if there are any readers who would be willing to contribute to my project a short memoir of their experience of leaving the Christian fold, making particular note of the role of the arts, creativity, literature, beauty, the combined work of a particular artist or aesthetic experience (most broadly conceived) in this process.

This memoir could be sent to me directly at pfrancis@hds.harvard.edu or posted on Exchristian.net. Questions about the project may also be directed to my email address.

The following are some basic guidelines and starter questions, but approach the writing anyway you like.

The memoir may be as short or long as you like and assume any form. It may be signed or anonymous.

Others have found it useful to structure their memoir as follows:

1. The Unsettling: reflect on your experience of the forces and factors that unsettled you from the system of beliefs and practices that you once held in a dogmatically unassailable manner. Were the arts in any way a part of this initial unsettling? Feel free to cite specific examples from the arts and literature, or your own creative projects.

2. The Liminality: reflect on your experience of the initial transition away from your previous system of beliefs and practices, the in-between space. Was there a time in which you had begun to disavow your previous religious beliefs and practices but had not yet established a new set of beliefs and practices? What was it like to dwell in that liminal, in-between space? Did the arts play a role in this phase?

3. The loss of faith: reflect on the experience of losing religious faith all together, or losing faith in a particular set of beliefs and practices, or a certain vision of God. And/or reflect on the various kinds of losses incurred in this process of disenchantment with Christianity (or some aspect of it). In all these experiences, was loss negotiated in any way by recourse to the arts, creativity and aesthetic experience?

4.The aftermath: reflect on your experience of the aftermath of disenchantment with Christianity (or with some other form of religious belief and practice). Have you found new forms of faith and practice? Have you found it unnecessary to construct new, fixed, systems of belief? Did your relationship to religious doubt, uncertainty and mystery change over the course of this experience?

What is the role of the arts in the aftermath of these experiences? Have the arts assumed any of the roles once played by your previous forms of religious faith?

***
In all aspects of this memoir I am most interested in hearing about your lived experience, not merely your rational, theological or philosophical justifications for leaving Christianity (or other), although I recognize that it is not always easy to separate the two.
***

Thanks very much for your contribution to this project. All the best, Philip (pfrancis@hds.harvard.edu)

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Sunday, May 10, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Troubled by the beginning

Questions from Saczino

Modification of Image:Huxley - Mans Place in N...Image via Wikipedia

I have been an atheist for 4 months now. I have been studying evolution as the alternative to creation (Most atheists seem to ‘believe’ in evolution). However, I have been highly disappointed by what I have discovered regarding evolution, it also seems to be taken by faith. There is no scientific proof for most of the evolutionary theories.

There seems to be six sections or steps to evolution

1. Cosmic evolution – the origin of matter, space and time.


There is absolutely no proof what-so-ever that matter, space and time can come out of nothing. The big bang (creation of matter, the rotation and the explosion of this matter) can not be proven in any scientific lab (i.e. no tests or experiments can be done to proof the big bang). As for something being coming out of nothing is just ridiculous!!!

Generally accepted theory is that: All matter was condensed in a dot, and the dot came from nothing – this is just ridiculous!!! The very 1st step of evolution makes no sence to me. And how people can believe this is beyond my understanding!

2. Chemical evolution – elements with high atomic mass than hydrogen.

Evolution further states that hydrogen would have then been created from or was the main source of the cosmic evolution. I fail to find anything published about how all the other elements came about. Where all the elements in the dot? Very little info seems to be published regarding chemical evolution.

3. Stellar and planetary evolution – origin of stars and planets

The law of conservation of momentum seems to disagree completely with this type of evolution. The fact is, we have these dens parts (stars and stuff) in the universe and thousands of kilos of empty space. This cannot be a result of a spinning object – the law of conservation of momentum clearly states that matter should be evenly distributed when a spinning object breaks into a lot of stuff. Also, you have planets that are rotating in the opposite direction to the sun – also a direct violation of the law of momentum conservation. Therefore, this type of evolution is completely unscientific!!!

4. Organic evolution- Origin of life from inanimate matter (rocks)


There is absolutely no proof that life can come out of the rocks and the water of the big bang. The earth is believed to have had craters and volcanic matter from whence life came! There is absolutely no proof of this!! No experiment that I know of has proven life coming out of cosmic mud!! Nothing!!!

5. Macroevolution- Origin of major kinds of trees, animals, fishes, etc…

No proof for this either. The familiar sketch of a lizard growing wings and turning into a bird seems to be people’s imagination. No proof what-so-ever for a lizard with no wings, giving birth to a lizard that is developing wings!!! There is no proof that from a frog you can get anything that is not a frog or even a frog with horns on anything that is an improvement on the parent frogs – no proof what so ever!!!!!

6. Microevolution – changes between the same species.

This basically means a cow in the North Pole will have thicker fur them a cow in the equator. And if you take a baby cow from the equator to the North Pole, as an adult cow it will have thicker fur then its parents. This is the only evolutionary step we have proof for. Animals do adjust to their environment. But the change must not be extreme. That is to say, if you put a dog in a cage under water it will drown, it will not grow gills. No matter how long you give it, it will not grow fins!! However, the dog would adjust to small changes in temperature – thicker fur. This has been proven, but it has nothing to do with the other 5 steps.

There is absolutely no scientific proof for the other 5 steps. So do we then say religious people are crazy for believing in a god while we believe everything can from a dot that came out of nothing???!! The fact is none of us can proof beyond reasonable doubt that evolution is true – this is probably because it is not. I believe once we accept that neither religion nor evolution (I don’t say science because evolution is not a science, it is also a believe – you have to take it by faith!!!) can answer the questions about the beginning, only then can we start to work on finding out exactly were we come from!!!

Please, if there is anybody that can proof to me otherwise or that can suggest reading material for me that will be highly appreciated.

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