Somewhere Out There … God?

On another blog that I follow, the owner (a Christian) made the following comments. I’d be interested in knowing what my readers/followers think about them.

Theologically speaking, there was always God. He exists outside of the universe [and] brought forth “something” from nothing (apart from His self-existence).

… everything in the universe (natural world) requires a cause. God is NOT the universe! That is a pagan notion of God. God is not a contingent being and does not exist in the universe. He both exists outside of it and sustains it. The two are not inconsistent.

The thing I wonder about is why this person wants to put a “cause” to everything … EXCEPT God.

And the point that God (supposedly) is “outside” the universe? Hmmm. Wonder where he is then? And how in the world does he hear all those “prayers and supplications” if he’s so freakin’ far away? (Whoops! Sorry … got carried away.)

Seriously, conjecture such as this is why the whole idea of a “god” (and especially the Christian God) is so indescribably difficult for many to swallow.

Yet many thousands of people DO swallow it. Why?  Because it makes them feel good. I mean, c’mon! To think an invisible supernatural entity, the Creator of Everything (yet lives outside “everything”), actually sees, hears, and (most of all) … LOVES us? Now what can beat that?


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.

Why Do You Believe … Or Not?

Just came across a rather provocative article on entitled,  “What Drives Religious Belief? It’s Not Intuition”

Couple of interesting quotes:

“We know from twin studies that, at least in the American population, genes tend to have a greater influence than (shared) environment on whether someone becomes religious as an adult,”

“… people’s spirituality or religiousness likely develops based on their upbringing, culture and education”

” … atheists are generally smarter than religious people, according to studies done in the United States.”

” … analytical thinking may inhibit supernatural beliefs.”

There are several “linked” articles throughout the page which you may also want to read. There is also a link to the actual study. Interesting stuff.

NOTE: When I visited the site, it took awhile for it to “settle down” — apparently because there are several ads on the page. But it’s worth the wait.

Satan aka The Devil aka The Big Bad Guy – Part One

On several occasions, I’ve left comments on other blogs I follow that one day I would write more about how the belief in Satan developed. As it turns out, after looking back through my post history, I discovered I’ve written about “The Devil” a number of times. Much of what I wrote was when my blog was comparatively new and I had few visitors … and even less comments.

Rather than start from scratch, I decided to simply copy and paste some of the posts … starting with this one that I wrote in July of 2011:

Watched “Beyond Belief: Battle with the Devil” on ABC’s Primetime last night and couldn’t stop shaking my head.

The gullibility of people never ceases to amaze me! But then, teachings that have been around several centuries are hard to shake. And group mentality/consciousness can be very strong.

The show spotlighted several individuals who believed they were ‘possessed’ by the devil because they had ‘opened themselves up’ to his powers.

Oh puleeeeze.

Some of them apparently got rid of the “Evil One” by retching into paper bags. Others relied on specially trained members of the Catholic Church to rid them of the “Prince of Darkness” through exorcism.

Believers say the Devil’s greatest trick is convincing people he doesn’t exist. Guess I’ve been hornswoggled because I, for one, do not believe in his existence. This is not to say there isn’t evil in the world, but is there a powerful and terrifying supernatural being promoting and generating that evil? Is there truly a supernatural entity with the power to “possess” people and control their actions? Is there some unseen spirit lurking in the shadows of humankind, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting individuals?

The facts are this: Satan was contrived during the post-exilic period by some creative Jewish writers to explain why the people were suffering under the rule of foreign nations. Obviously, they couldn’t blame Yahweh for their misfortune, so voila! The Big Bad Guy was born. (Zoroastrianism and Greek philosophy helped.) And, as we have seen, this malevolent monster has grown and thrived over the centuries.

Don’t believe me? Do the research. I did.

As time permits, I’ll post some other “oldies” that offer some insights on “Satan” and his development within Christianity. In the meantime, if you have questions related to the Big Bad Guy, please include them in the comment section and I’ll see what I can do to answer them in a future post.

Of course, for a full review of my perspective on Satan, I invite you to read my book. 🙂

Superb Book! “Love Over Religion”

I just finished reading an outstanding book called, “Love Over Religion: Why I Left Christianity”.

Now I know there are tons of books, articles, blogs, etc. that revolve around this topic but in my humble opinion, this book stands head and shoulders above pretty much all of them.

The author, Danica Allen, describes herself as a lifelong student of religion and an active churchgoer for 10 years. She journeyed out of Christianity in favor of, as she puts it, “loving others, myself, and the earth without the confines of religion”.

I wish I could convey the impact her book had on me. There was so much I agreed with! In fact, I feared I might get a headache from vigorously nodding my head as I read. 😉

Just to give you an idea of the contents, here are a couple of chapter titles:

  • God Murders Children … and he thinks you should too
  • God Encourages Slavery and Rape … but don’t go to church without a hat
  • The Negative Impact of Prayer … try this at home
  • My Journey into Christianity … why?

Throughout the book, she offers numerous scriptures, examples, and personal experiences so readers will harbor no doubt as to why she left Christianity behind.

The book is very easy reading and I urge every reader/follower of my blog to visit Amazon and click on “Add to Cart.” It’s published in hardcopy and ebook format.