Breaking Up With Jesus

An individual who comments regularly on another blog I follow recently left a remarkable analogy related to what happens when a person chooses to leave “The Faith.” IMO, it magnificently describes what many, many people encounter from their “Christian” friends, relatives, employers, co-workers, pastors, neighbors … even strangers. In other words, anyone who discovers the person is no longer part of the “Family.”

Of course, it should never be this way, but it happens more frequently than one might think. Truth be known, deconvertees are frequently …

  • Ridiculed
  • Ignored
  • Browbeaten
  • Intimidated
  • Abused
  • Rejected
  • Judged
  • Discredited
  • Physically injured
  • Insulted
  • Shamed
  • … and the list goes on and on.

Sadly, many Christians who do these things truly believe they are representing their Christ. They seem to have skipped over the scriptures that talk about loving others as yourself. Some may try to justify their actions by saying Jesus’ comments were meant for other believers but if this is so, then how does any Christian expect to bring “sinners” into the fold? In my bible, Jesus didn’t include any “conditions” behind his words.

In any case, with the person’s permission, I’m sharing her story here because I think it uniquely and perfectly describes what it’s like to break up with Jesus.

I equate my deconversion from Jesus to breaking up with an abusive boyfriend. And not just any abusive man, one who is good looking, charismatic and a natural born leader. When a person splits from an abusive person who has great influence, no one believes their story of trauma. His friends, family and coworkers are every where constantly. They talk about him fondly right in front of you. When you question anything about him, you’re immediately dismissed.

“That might have been your experience, but it’s not mine.” “You don’t know him like I do.” “You must have been a difficult partner towards him.” “You need help.” “You weren’t very patient.” “You’re bitter.” “You need to be more forgiving.” “You didn’t try hard enough, you need to give it another chance.” “You’re the one with the problem.”

It’s constant bragging about the one who hurt you. It’s the push of those who do know your story to introduce him to you all over again. It’s the joyful introduction to him by those who don’t know your story. Everyone plasters his quotes around you and worships him non stop. They sing songs about him at dental and medical offices/hospitals while they pass out his literature in governmental public places. The likable abuser constantly gets a free pass to interrupt your appointment, a work day and schooling. He and his groupees are even allowed to knock on your door at dinner time and on holidays.

This is why religion is still traumatizing upon leaving it. For in the US, no matter what you do or where you go, you can’t leave your abusive ex. Many people in other countries have no clue as to what that’s like. And if you have young children, the abuser’s groupees make every attempt to get into your children’s faces when you are unable to supervise them.

In this country, it’s important to remember that not only do we have freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion.

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Science … Faith — What’s The Answer?

This post is for an open discussion on the merits of faith vs. science as related to human existence.

On another post, one individual has indicated he believes humans are here (exist) because they were put here by a “Designer” (i.e., “God”). Others strongly disagree.

What do you think? If you’re new to the subject, I suggest you read some of the comments on the other post. If you have an opinion — whether you agree or disagree with what someone else has said — don’t hesitate! Jump right in. The more the merrier!

NOTE: Please follow the blog rules. 

Why Do We Exist?

The following comment was made by a Christian blogger to an individual who disagreed with him:

 But you will fail because you will never be able to answer the most important questions of all—why we exist, why are we here at all? Your “I don’t know” answers will always be found wanting.

I found this comment a bit condescending, but mostly, it’s simply not true.

To say that an “I don’t know” answer will always be found “wanting” reveals an obvious bias since NO ONE can definitively say why humans exist.

Even though multitudes of people attribute our presence on this earth to a supernatural entity (and not always the biblical god), there are scores of others who support a more “scientific” view. Still others simply shrug their shoulders and say, “Who knows? Who cares?”

I would say I lean towards the last point of view.

This is not to say I never ponder the heavy question of “why?” … but if/when I do, I admit my tendency is to accept the answers provided by science. However, having said that, I also recognize that science is not … and cannot be … the final answer.

But then neither is the answer found in a book written many thousands of years ago. Nor is it hidden in the numerous legends, myths, and fables that have been passed down though the centuries.

Simply put … we don’t know why we exist.

Therefore, when someone asks, Why we exist, why are we here at all, the most honest answer has to be “I don’t know.”

Christian Toys

Just read a new post entitled, “Atheist or Agnostic.” In it, the author offers some thoughts on worship (God or otherwise) and asks the question, “Is there any valid basis for worship?”

At the beginning of his post, however, he discusses the terms “atheist” and “agnostic” — and then defines himself as an “antitheist.” Although I’d heard the term before, I was interested in a definitive meaning. This is what I found at Rational Wiki:  Antitheism is a noncomparable term referring to the belief that theism and religion are not only very likely to be invalid and false, but that they are restricting, dangerous, primitive, and offer no unique benefits. 

On the same page that I found the definition was something Christopher Hitchens once said.  To some of you, it may be familiar, but I had not read it before (actually I haven’t read any of his works). He said it in response to an audience question during a public debate between he and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Audience member: My question to Christopher is; how you can justify wanting to take something away from people, that gives meaning to 95% of the American people, and replace it with something that gives meaning to just 5% of the American people?

Courtesy of StockVault.net

Christopher Hitchens: Hah! Well. What an incredibly stupid question. First, I’ve said repeatedly that this stuff cannot be taken away from people, it is their favourite toy and it will remain so, as Freud said with The Future of an Illusion, for as long as we’re afraid of death—which I think is likely to be quite a long time. Second—I hope I’ve made it clear that I’m perfectly happy for people to have these toys, and to play with them at home, and hug them to themselves and so on, and share them with other people who come around and play with their toys. So that’s absolutely fine. They are not to make me play with these toys. Ok? I will not. Play. With. The toys. Don’t bring the toys to my house. Don’t say my children must play with these toys. Don’t say my toys—might be a condom, here we go again—are not allowed by their toys. I’m not going to have any of that. Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation! Is that finally clear? Have I got that acrossThank you!

(After reading this, I can see why so many non-believers like and quote Hitchens. 🙂 )

Anyway, what he says falls in line with my personal approach. Do your thing, Christians. I don’t agree with you or your beliefs but if they work for you, fine. I may offer alternate opinions/ideas for you to consider, but if you don’t accept them, that’s your prerogative.

By the same token, as Hitchens says, do not make me play with your toys. Long ago, I looked at your toys — and even purchased and played with them. But one day, I outgrew your toys … and I have NO desire to look at, touch, and/or play with them any longer. In fact, I got rid of them in the far, far distant past.

Probably one of the most annoying things about Christian toys is you find them laying about everywhere. Even when you try to get rid of them, they turn up again. Hopefully, someday in the not-too-distant future, believers will discover toys are for children. And it’s time to grow up.

More on New Testament Reliability

After a lengthy discussion on the Reliability of the New Testament, the two primary debaters eventually presented their positions and closing remarks, so I decided to close comments.

However, along the way, there were many others who contributed thoughts and viewpoints that stimulated discussion as well. Therefore, I decided to open a new discussion post and I’m leading with a question that Arkenaten (Ark, for short) asked. His inquiry was directed to a specific person, but anyone who has thoughts/answers/opinions is urged and encouraged to participate.

reliable
rɪˈlʌɪəb(ə)l/
adjective
1.
consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.
“a reliable source of information”
synonyms: dependable, good, well founded, well grounded, authentic, definitive, attested, valid, genuine, from the horse’s mouth, sound, true;

Of these (minimal) New Testament events listed below one would reasonably expect to find at least some mention within independent sources especially as we are dealing with the birth, life and death of the Creator of the Universe, Therefore, please list any independent source that corroborates some or all of the following:

The Three Wise Men and the Wandering Star
Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents
Feeding of the 5000
Feeding of the 4000
Resurrection of Lazarus
Mention of the life and deaths of any of the 12 disciples, including corroborating independent testimony.
Paul’s missions, including his arrest and deportation to Rome.

Please note. We are discussing the biblical character, the miracle working, Jesus of Nazareth , and not an itinerant eschatological 1st century rabbi who may have been called Yeshua.
Thanks.

As a reminder, I will be somewhat absent except for occasional input when I just can’t help myself. 😀