Leaving Christianity – Oh What A Relief It Is!

Oh What A Relief It Is!Although I left Christianity over 20 years ago, it took a long while for me to erase the doctrines that had been embedded within my consciousness for 15+ years. It was not an easy road.

As Stephen Van Eck wrote on the Deism.com website: “Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, [a person] is too intimidated by threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt.”
Writing my book helped tremendously because of all the research and reading I did. Learning how and why certain doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g., final judgment, burning fires of hell, Satan and his demons, the end-times) were introduced into the faith was extremely liberating … and removed a ton of guilt and fear.

I also found out some things about the Bible. As many others, I had been taught the Bible was “God’s Word” (even though the interpretation of what “He” said varies considerably among denominations). Through my studies, I discovered that much of what is in the bible is the result of stories, epics, myths, legends, proverbs, etc. that were passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. This is particularly true of the Hebrew Bible, but intrinsically typical of the New Testament scriptures as well. Can you imagine the burden that was lifted when I found out I wasn’t genetically inclined to sin and thus in need of someone to save me from being human??!?

Contrary to what one might think, the many discoveries I made did not turn me into an atheist. However, I definitely do not believe in a supernatural being who lives somewhere “up there,” who can be manipulated by prayer, or who has a “will.” Rather, my image of “God” is far more encompassing and has nothing to do with religious belief. In fact, I’m extremely reluctant to even use the word “god” because of all its connotations.

In any case, I find my life so much more fulfilling now. Truly, what a relief it has been!

“We Could Not Save Him”

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A recent article in the local newspaper reported that the Oregon Senate passed a bill on May 5, 2021 that mandates safe storage of guns. Its purpose is to prevent not only accidental shootings by children, but also suicides and mass shootings.

Of course Republican lawmakers “strenuously objected” because, according to them, it “deprives individuals of the ability to defend themselves.”

A second part of the bill was to ban guns from the State Capitol. Currently, concealed handgun licensees can bring firearms into the Capitol.

In opposition to this part of the bill, one of the esteemed Republican Senators spoke on the Senate floor saying he needed a gun to “defend himself from people outside the building.”

His exact words:

When I come into the Capitol, I bring a gun because if I happen to walk out the door – have you seen all the homeless people and the other people walking around here in the evening? I do not feel overly safe outside of this building at night.

Poor dear.

The thing that stood out to me is … how many homeless people have been known to attack/shoot at politicians when they leave a government building? Or even an ordinary person that just happens to be “walking around … in the evening”?

The article concluded with a story relayed by a Representative who used to be a paramedic. She was almost in tears as she told of being called to the home of a fatal shooting of a child by a friend.  She said the gun had been found under a bed while they were playing. She concluded her story with this remark:

We could not save him, and he died while his father howled the most unimaginable sounds in the next room.

The Democratic Governor will be reviewing the bill when it reaches her desk. She has repeatedly spoken out about the need to pass sensible gun legislation … so one would anticipate her signature.

And most likely, loud howls from the Republicans.

Goodbye! Good Riddance!

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OK, time for a fun blog … Sharing Your Deconversion Experience!

I know many of you have already provided your stories here and there, but that doesn’t make them any less potent. And besides, it’s a nice reminder that you made a very wise decision when you threw off the shackles of fear and foreboding about your eternal destiny.

Not only that — when you describe the events/situations/feelings that caused you to finally remove the Cloak of Guilt, it reinforces the fact that you made one of the best decisions of your life!

So tell us. What prompted you to “walk away?” Did it happen almost instantly – like a burst of insight? Or did it take weeks/months/years before you finally recognized that the so-called “joyous” way of life was most definitely not what it was cracked up to be?

I know for some people, it was a painful experience, so if you would prefer to simply ignore this post, that’s most definitely O.K.

However, if you feel it might add to your healing, I’m pretty certain you will find yourself in sympathetic and understanding company.

Finally, if you are still “in the fold” and believe, by sharing your faith and trust in a spacy entity said to exist somewhere “out there,” you will influence/affect/redirect those who have moved on to a happier and more contented way of life — Be Forewarned you may be in for one hellava ride!

So now, with all that said, it’s time for all you deconverts to GO FOR IT!

Caution: VERY Disturbing Video

I subscribe to an email newsletter from NPR. In today’s issue was the following blurb:

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre’s carefully cultivated image as a hunter and outdoorsman is taking a hit this week after a leaked video showed his clumsy marksmanship.

Since I have fairly strong negative feelings about LaPierre, I was interested to see what the video showed so I clicked on the link.

–MY MISTAKE–

The headline on the linked page was: “Video Leaks of NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Missing His Mark on Elephant Hunt.” Sadly … disgustingly …  the headline was correct. He definitely missed the mark. The video shows him taking FOUR shots at the elephant … and it still wasn’t dead. The final –and deadly– shot was made by another member of the hunting party. NOT LaPierre.

What was even more sickening was the “praise” by the individuals accompanying LaPierre on the hunt – “Well done. Great shooting. Good stuff.”

(After LaPierre’s messed-up shots, the video also includes images of his wife shooting an elephant. Although she achieved her goal much quicker than her husband, the video images are even more disturbing.)

As I have expressed on numerous occasions, I’m not totally against guns, per se. I personally don’t like them, but I know there are many who enjoy and use them for non-nefarious reasons (such as target shooting or collecting various models, usually older ones). I do, however, condemn those who have them strictly for bragging rights. Or to mock the Second Amendment.

Or to conduct mass shootings.

But above and beyond that — I DEFINITELY do NOT support using guns for “Big Game” hunting! Especially elephants, which have been proven to be very intelligent animals.

Although the article blurb indicates LaPierre is “taking a hit,” I truly wonder how many will see it this way since he has achieved a “god-like” reputation within the NRA.

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If you have the stomach for it, here is the link to this VERY disturbing video/article.

Living on Mars?

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Image by Bruno Albino from Pixabay

The recent news related to the planet Mars, the Perseverance rover, and the Ingenuity helicopter has caused me to ponder the prospect of Living on Mars.  No, I’m not referring to potential future exploratory “visits” by space-age scientists. I’m talking about taking up residence full-time. And I’m going to say this upfront —

I don’t think it will ever happen.

While I’m fully aware that science continues to present us humans with unimaginable advancements –and things aren’t slowing down (especially in the areas of space exploration)– I simply cannot visualize humans taking up full-time residence on Mars.

Let’s think about this for a minute.

The only way humans could actually live on the Red Planet would be in some sort of climate/air-controlled facility. They could never step foot outside without appropriate protection and breathing apparatus.

Further, when one considers the geography of Mars as presented via various advanced imaging apparatus, the surface appears to be relatively barren. Lots of rocks. Some craters. Overall, a mostly desert-like surface.

In other words … No forests. No rivers. No oceans. No grass. No birds. No animals. No reptiles. No fish. None of the beautiful and intriguing things that Earth offers in plenitude. Of course this also means no swimming, no bird-watching, no fishing, etc. 

Add to this the frequent dust storms, the C.O.L.D. climate (average temp -81 degrees Fahrenheit; -62.77778 Celsius), and the thin air. (Those white fluffy clouds that often accent Earth’s blue skies? Non-existent on Mars.)

These are just some of the things that make me think full-time life on Mars by the average earth-abiding citizen will never come to pass. This isn’t to say that scientists may one day determine how to travel to, live on, and study the Red Planet. But for people like you and me to make our home on such barrenness seems extremely far-fetched. And for most of us, I would think very unappealing.

However, this isn’t to say the future could include sightseeing visits to the planet in an environmentally-controlled space craft that will circle the planet and allow earth people to view its mysteries. After all, we do have people living in a Space Station, so surely, a “taxi-ride” to the Red Planet is futuristically conceivable.

But to eventually live there … ?

Your thoughts are invited.

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If you can access it, the following article may be of interest: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mars-1

Preferential Treatment. Again.

shh

As many of you know, I live in Oregon. I mention this because I don’t know how other states are handling reports of the Corona-19 virus cases — so what I’m about to report could very well be commonplace.

An article in the local newspaper related to the virus indicates that the “public health network” is following several current church outbreaks. It goes on to say that at one church, more than 15 people have been infected and “secondary cases from that outbreak have been found at several local businesses, health care facilities and schools.”

Sidenote: Definition of secondary in this instance would be “depending on or incidental to what is original or primary.”

The article further states that the county will not publish the names of the churches with outbreaks.” 

Yet in all other instances, the names of the workplaces, nursing homes, and schools experiencing outbreaks have been provided! According to the article, this non-disclosure of religious entities is a ruling by the Oregon Health Authority.

Need I point out this is just ONE MORE incident where “religion” has received preferential treatment?

The First Amendment to the Constitution (just like the Second Amendment) is repeatedly used to support fallacious ideals. Contrary to what many claim, the Amendment was never meant to be the Defining Principle for U.S. citizens. Its primary goal was/is to allow people the freedom to worship. Period. It was NOT to allow preferential treatment to individuals just because they claim some religious identity!

Yet again and again this tends to be the standard course of action. 

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(BTW, it’s probably best that you don’t share this post because it addresses religion and may fall under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy established by some overzealous bureaucratic entity!)  *Snark!*