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!

Trump: The Evangelicals’ Choice Because …

This one takes the cake:

Some Evangelicals Think Donald Trump is One of Theirs  … Because of How He Points During Rallies

At one recent meeting with Trump, evangelical leaders noted how he often flashes a signature hand gesture, with a thumb out and a finger point to the sky, as he enters and exits rallies.

“You see athletes do it all the time and it’s their chance to point to the sky, to thank God for their success,” said Pastor Mark Burns, CEO of a Christian television network based in South Carolina. “Trump does this all of the time, too. He’s giving reverence to the man upstairs.”

Reblog: Guns, Gender, and Refugees

Although this is a rather long blog post, I so heartily agree with the writer, I wanted to share his thoughts with my followers.

Towards the end of his post, he offers what he believes is the motivation behind many of the actions he discusses. I totally agree.

A Point of Contention


Let us take stock of this moment we live in. It is a moment of anti-government sentiment, racial tension, tenuous economic stability, and social change at a pace and of a kind not seen for several decades in our nation. It is a time made all the more volatile by a particularly contentious election season in which the Conservative Right is set to tear itself apart in a clownish cacophony where the one and only thing that seems to be agreed upon, across the Conservative Spectrum, is that Hillary Clinton cannot be allowed to be the next President.

We live in a time when something as long-standing and effortlessly assumed as the Gender Binary is being questioned; a time when the oil and blood soak Middle East is hemorrhaging desperate refugees into the suspicious arms of a wounded West; a time when gun violence on a uniquely dramatic scale continues…

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Why Has Trump Gotten This Far?

The following is, at least to me, a rather unsettling article. The writer, Dennis Prager, is a well-known talk show host who is viewed by most as a Conservative (although he’s been described as “fiercely independent”). In any case, whatever his political standing, he’s offered some points to ponder.

I’m no history buff — in fact it was my least favorite subject in school (many years ago). And since I’ve only been interested in politics for the past couple of years, I can’t offer any particular feedback on what he says. But I do find his perspective a bit disturbing.

I’d love to hear from those of you who are more knowledgeable on the subject. Do you agree with his analysis?

The Scariest Reason Trump Won

 

The Samaritan Lady

waterwell

Courtesy of Stockvault.net

Recently a law was passed in Tennessee that allows mental health counselors to refuse to treat patients based on the therapist’s religious or personal beliefs. Unfortunately, it is just one of many laws, passed or being discussed, that allows the religious to deny service because of their beliefs.

Obviously, as a non-believer, I feel this type of discrimination is wrong-wrong-wrong.

However, since I have a few Christian followers, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of a story from the bible related to the woman who came to get some water at the community well. As you probably recall, Jesus was there when she arrived and he asked her for a drink of water.

It’s important to remember this woman was a Samaritan, a race of people the Jews utterly despised and regarded as the worst of the human race. In fact, according to John 8:45, they believed the Samaritans were possessed by demons. The woman obviously knew this because when Jesus asked her for a drink, she commented (John 4:9):

How is it that you, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 

There is considerably more to the story (Jesus also discusses the woman’s husbands and a few other things), but the church primarily highlights the moment when Jesus tells the woman he could have given her “living water.” In fact, they use it quite extensively to minister to the “unsaved.”

However, for me, there’s a much deeper message to this story.

Doesn’t Jesus’ ministering to this despised outcast of Jewish society reveal that all people are valuable to God? Doesn’t this indicate that Jesus desires for his followers to demonstrate love to everyone . . . including those who are “different” or who do not share one’s “religious or personal beliefs?”

Hello, Christians. Do you not get the message? In spite of the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans, this woman was accepted by Jesus. During this brief encounter, he was able to break down barriers between the two groups. And what happened as a result? She hurried back to her village to share her wondrous experience (she even left her water jar!).

Now let’s consider the law passed in Tennessee.

If believers are allowed to deny service to others simply because they don’t share the same beliefs (I don’t think I need to be specific here), isn’t this going against the teachings of Jesus as exemplified in this story?

You may go to church regularly, listen to Christian music, you may even carry a bible around, but if you’re going to proclaim to yourself and those around you that you’re a Christ-follower, how can you legitimately refuse to serve others in your community — whether or not they agree with your religious or personal beliefs?